It’s STEM Week in Missouri, and STEMSTL and Science Coach, both talent-building programs supported by BioSTL, are recognizing St. Louis area seniors, who are committed to pursuing science, technology, engineering, and math education in college. Several of the students will take part at this Friday’s STEM Signing Day, sponsored by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The award ceremony will be a virtual event livestreamed on Facebook at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 7, 2021.
“The future success of the St. Louis region will be driven by STEM companies, and their ability to attract and retain talent,” Natalie Self, STEMSTL Executive Director. “As the STL2030 Jobs Plan reminds us, we need a significantly larger and more diverse pool of young people ready to matriculate into any number of growing careers in the region, like bio-technician, computer software designer, mechanical engineer, and even STEM educators. We celebrate all students who are putting hard work in, day in and day out, to follow their passion and contribute to our regional growth.”
BioSTL, a founding member and fiscal agent of STEMSTL, launched STEMSTL locally to build a collaborative consortium committed to equitable access to high-quality STEM learning and employment opportunities for all learners in the St. Louis Metro region. Its mission is to collectively develop and deploy quality systems-level changes that will advance STEM learning and career opportunities to empower the growth of diverse problem solvers, innovators, and critical thinkers, enabling them to thrive in a globally connected world.
Science Coach, a program of BioSTL, engages 6th-12th grade public, private, or homeschooled students in the process of scientific inquiry so that they can tackle the problems of today and tomorrow. The Science Coach program trains teachers to coach students to choose questions of personal interest, create procedures to test hypotheses, arrive at answers with validity, and build confidence in solving real world problems. Science Coach students then take their research projects to national and international competitions, and, for some, transform the innovation into a marketable product. Seventy percent of Science Coach students continue into STEM pathways.
More than 45 Science Coach seniors have committed to pursuing STEM education in college. Some of the exceptional Science Coach student projects include:
Mallorie’s year two study looks at a possible way to treat antibiotic resistant bacteria, like Strep, by preventing the initial release of toxins. Watch her presentation here.
LaNita has identified two novel antibiotic compounds that have not been previously included in the national databases. This means that there is a potential that these compounds might be a source for new antibiotics, which could help with illnesses that are becoming resistant to current antibiotics. Watch her presentation here.
Ethan is working to develop a nuclear fusion reactor that will produce electricity without any radioactive waste being generated as a byproduct. Watch his presentation here.
Tate was able to make a drone fly without any moving parts which has broad applications for military and unmanned craft deliveries. Watch his presentation here.
Tahlor has been researching the effect of hair dye to reduce the cancer-causing effect on people who frequently dye their hair. Watch her presentation here.
Eli is working on synthesizing a vital chemical used in malaria and cancer treatments which is currently only available from plants. He is on step 5 of 8 to create this chemical. If successful, drugs that use this will become cost effective. Watch his presentation here.
“A 12-year study determined that completing an authentic research project in high school and acquiring the feeling of belonging in the academic setting during the project were the two highest factors that predict STEM degree completion,” said Jill Malcom, Executive Director of Science Coach. “To build a diverse STEM workforce of tomorrow, Science Coach gives students a year-long opportunity to authentically experience the STEM career through advanced research. Science Coach is a significant STEM Professionals workforce pipeline for St. Louis as 89 percent of our 400+ area students are choosing STEM careers, resulting in 356 students in the next four years.”
In celebration of STEM Week, STEMSTL is also hosting an in-person, socially-distanced event from 4-6 p.m. on Friday, May 7, 2021, to celebrate the St. Louis STEM ecosystem. The public is welcome to join at the Cortex Commons for complimentary snacks, socializing, a sneak peek of STEMSTL’s 2021-2023 strategic plan, and some fun kid-friendly STEM activities! Please register to join here!
Since 2001, BioSTL has laid the foundation for St. Louis' innovation economy with a comprehensive set of transformational programs that advance St. Louis’ leadership in solving important world challenges in agriculture, medicine, healthcare, and other technology areas. BioSTL has introduced nationally-acclaimed initiatives in startup creation and investment (BioGenerator), strategic business attraction (GlobalSTL), physical environment (including the Cortex Innovation District and BioGenerator Labs), entrepreneur support (Fundamentals), seed and venture capital, a diverse and inclusive workforce, and public policy. Find us online at biostl.org and follow us on twitter @BioSTL.