STEM Roundup: Brought to You by the Letters STEM

A roundup of recent science, technology, engineering and math-related education and employment news.

Abby Cadabby and Elmo are the newest role models for STEM, thanks to a new Sesame Workshop program.
By + More

Brought to You by the Letters STEM

Add Elmo and Abby Cadabby to the list of entertainers who want to make STEM education cool. The Children’s Television Workshop, home of “Sesame Street” and “The Muppets,” has launched “Little Discoverers: Big Fun With Science, Math and More,” an interactive website designed to introduce children to STEM concepts in a lively, fun way. “Sesame Street” joins the ranks of organizations around the country that are trying to make STEM more of an accessible and natural discipline. Sesame Workshop created the Little Discoverers website with 26 new videos starring Elmo and Abby, six mobile games, three desktop games, six educator guides and six parent newsletters.

Colleges See STEM Trumping Balanced Education

STANFORD, Calif. - At Stanford -- which helped birth the Silicon Valley phenomenon, educated Google’s founders and inspired countless tech entrepreneurs -- humanities professors are worried. Though they make up 45 percent of Stanford’s undergraduate faculty, they teach just 15 percent of its students. Given Stanford’s reputation in technology, it’s not surprising computer science is its most popular major, but administrators fear students are ignoring access to an elite humanities department and a well-rounded education and focusing instead on job preparation studies. Even world-class universities like Harvard and Princeton, where many undergraduate degree programs include mandatory coursework in disciplines like history and language, have seen significant declines in the number of humanities majors, the New York Times reported.

Study: Petroleum Engineering Most Valuable Degree, but Women Still Paid Less

DICKINSON, N.D. – A Georgetown University survey showed the demand for oil industry talent has made petroleum engineering the most valuable college degree in America, but when it’s time to cash in, women lag behind in the male-dominated field. The study found petroleum engineering majors earned a median salary of $120,000 -– the highest of the 171 college degree programs studied -- but women with those degree earned tens of thousands less than men, on average, and make up less than 10 percent of the field’s workforce. At the University of North Dakota, one of only 22 colleges that offer petroleum engineering majors, women make up 6 percent of that student base, but officials are working to increase that number. Nina Patel, international chair for IEEE Women in Engineering, said the root of the problem is a lack of a pipeline to get girls interested in engineering early in their academic life.

Texas A&M Wants to Lead Nation in New Subsea Engineering Studies, Grads

COLLEGE STATION, Tex. -- Texas A&M University officials want to establish the school as the world leader in a field that's emerging at the bottom of the ocean: subsea engineering. The university has fast-tracked a program to offer master’s degrees and certificates in the subsea engineering program in the fall of 2014 -- spurred on by the oil and gas industry, where there’s a high demand for civil, electrical and petroleum engineers to tap energy reserves beneath the seafloor, several miles down. The United States imports subsea engineers, and the only U.S. university with subsea offerings is the nearby University of Houston. "When you're working in those depths, it's like working on Mars, it's a very hostile environment; high temperature variability, high pressure, people can't be there and [oil companies] are trying to do more of their processing at a subsea level," A&M Engineering Dean Kathy Banks said. "The problem is, we don't train people now to do it."

Hispanic Group Takes Action for Latino STEM Students

IRVINE, Calif. -- With the low number of Hispanic staff in colleges and universities across the country, the Center for Hispanic Leadership has announced it will spearhead a STEM-based program to put more Latino doctors and biomedical scientists into the nation’s pipeline. The event, “Strengthening the Hispanic Pipeline in Healthcare and Biomedical Fields,” launches on Dec. 2 in Duarte, Calif. Glenn Llopis, CHL Founder/CEO, will facilitate the event, which will be attended by health care and biomedical organizations and professionals, STEM professors, local leaders, students, media, and the community, with the goal of changing the conversation about Hispanic leadership in STEM as well as in other disciplines. For more information about the event and to register, please visit

STEM jobs
STEM education