ASQ - Education Division

STUDENTfacturED: Providing a Way to “STEM” Out from behind Old School Walls and Into the Real-World Workplace

Abstract: This paper is authored by Vivian Ngan-Winward and is included in the conference proceedings for the ASQ 2012 Advancing the STEM Agenda Conference at UW-Stout July 16-17, 2012.

While the number of US businesses based on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields has increased steadily over the past decade, the number of students completing STEM degrees is barely 10% of all conferred degrees. Additionally, US teens interested in pursuing a STEM career perceive major obstacles in their ability to achieve this goal. These obstacles include college readiness, learning effort required, and the high cost and lengthy time commitments. This negative perception may relate to how STEM education is delivered and the lack of opportunities to apply knowledge learned. To counter the negative perception, Salt Lake Community College has developed and implemented STUDENTfacturED, a student-run biotechnology manufacturing company that provides a mechanism to shift learning away from the old school experience toward real-world contextual application.

Keywords: STEM - Conference Proceedings - Teaching Quality - Hands-on Learning

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