When you think of the acronym ‘STEM,’ what comes to mind? STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Math and science probably seem more familiar to you than engineering and technology, and for a long time, that was the case for me as well. I started studying computer science when I was 12 years old, and I immediately found a passion. At 14 when I got to decide what courses to take, I was the only girl in an 8-person class, but that didn’t stop me from exploring all computer science has to offer.
You may think of STEM as something difficult that requires a lot of studying, is purely academic, and just plain boring. But in reality, STEM is just as creative as it is logical. With programming, you can create art, music, websites, anything! And that still requires imagination and creativity, much like a traditional arts subject. Engineering is what has allowed us to advance in architecture, design, and innovation. Combining math and technology has led to the development of Artificial Intelligence, which, believe it or not, you could use on the daily. Ever wondered how Siri or other voice recognition systems work?
Studying STEM is not only beneficial to you but is also beneficial to the world. In the beginning, it may be difficult to understand, and you might feel like you want to give up. That’s how I felt when writing my first program in Python, but when it finally started to work, the feeling of accomplishment was unbeatable. When you find your passion and that same feeling, you will be on a path to cutting-edge discoveries. You will get to be on the front-line of innovation and invent new tools that will push the world beyond limits we can only imagine.
A common misconception about a career in STEM is that it involves sitting at a desk all day, mindlessly droning on. Why not create your own tech start-up and be the next Bill Gates? Delve into the math of astronomy and send a human to Mars? Develop a cure for cancer and save millions of lives? These are only three of the endless examples of how you could use STEM to make a positive impact on our world.