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Keeping Students Interested in STEM Fields

Educators recommend getting children interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math at an early age.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Ten years from now the highest paying jobs will go to those in STEM fields, that's Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

While some students are simply drawn to these areas, others will have to be won over.

It didn't take a whole lot of convincing for Zartashia Javid to choose a major in a STEM field.

"I'm very interested in biology type courses, so when I saw they had specific courses like humanology and developmental biology,” she says.

That was in high school, now she is a Molecular Biotechnology Major at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR), with hopes of becoming a doctor.

But unlike Zartashia, statistics show in about 10 years, the United States will face a shortage of STEM students.

Jeffery Gaffney, Professor and Chair of the Chemistry Department at UALR, sees big challenges for students.

"You need to be able to write well, so pay attention in your English classes and it's important to understand mathematical things and using them,” he says.

So, how do we keep students interested in STEM fields?

"I think if we can communicate the excitement of science that I had, when I was their age, we were putting men on the moon,” Gaffney adds.

“I think it's about exposure. if you expose students at a young age, there's so many topics and so many different things you can do with it,” says Javid.

And they might just take an interest in one of the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – STEM!
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