Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
The acronym STEM is fairly specific in nature however, there is no standard definition for what constitutes a STEM job. STEM workers drive our nation’s innovation and competitiveness by generating new ideas, new companies and new industries. However, U.S. businesses frequently voice concerns over the supply and availability of STEM workers. Over the past 10 years, growth in STEM jobs was three times as fast as growth in non-STEM jobs.
- In 2010, there were 7.6 million STEM workers in the United States, representing about 1 in 18 workers.
- STEM occupations are projected to grow by 17.0 percent from 2008 to 2018, compared to 9.8 percent growth for non-STEM occupations.
- STEM workers command higher wages, earning 26 percent more than their non-STEM counterparts.
(By David Langdon, George McKittrick, David Beede, Beethika Khan, and Mark Doms, Office of the Chief Economist, U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration)
STEM, Energy, and Economic Development
- Place-based initiative building local coalitions to:
- Increase energy-literacy
- Facilitate STEM opportunities
- Promote job-driven skills
- SEED Coalition’s are committed to preparing residents of public housing localities for current and future in-demand STEM & Energy jobs.
- 6 Pilot Cities
- Denver, Colorado
- Washington, D.C.
- Tampa, Florida
- Cleveland, Ohio
- San Antonio, Texas
- Austin, Texas
While Rockford was not a pilot city, RHA has a strong STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) program, energy conservation program, and an Artisan Entrepreneurship program. Leveraging its STEAM platform to align with SEED aligns with its mission to assist residents to become self-sufficient.
Coalitions for Community Growth
- Creates a Common agenda among local partners in the coalition
- Promotes local empowerment through public-private partnerships
- Uses existing federal resources to increase impact in Public Housing
- Highlights the importance of energy efficiency and savings to residents
- Facilitates increased STEM training opportunities for residents
- Prepares current and future workers for in-demand STEM jobs
- Adds to efforts needed to reach national climate change objectives
- Improves efforts to reach populations historically underrepresented in this country’s STEM pipeline: women, minorities and students from economically distressed communities
Introducing the Solar Siblings, Sonny and Sunny!
Sonny & Sunny’s Story
In Sonny and Sunny’s universe Green Energy, or Renewable Energy, runs the world; from the car your mom and dad drive to your favorite tablet device. Because of the switch to Solar Energy and other renewable sources the environment is healthier, some species of animals never went extinct, and the problems that can be caused by pollution from Fossil Fuels have nearly reversed.
Sonny and Sunny’s home world resembles Earth in every way. Actually, it wasn’t too long ago when Sonny and Sunny were living in the same conditions we are now too.
NePHy the Trickster had convinced the leaders of their world that Fossil Fuels were the best way to power their planet. Sadly, the money invested in Fossil Fuels, and the reliability had turned the worlds’ nations into irresponsible users of Fossil Fuels, which nearly destroyed the many vital resources. Sonny and Sunny exposed what was happening to their planet, and together with the rest of the world leaders, rose against NePHy the Trickster. While NePHy tried to cover his tracks, Sonny and Sunny’s persistence finally prevailed. Ever since then, Sonny and Sunny have committed their lives to helping other planets to save themselves from an all too familiar path.
Sonny and Sunny have always been fascinated with the sun. They knew that the sun is one of the greatest energy sources; it is important for all life forms. For solar energy to work on such a large scale, they would have to find a dry and constantly sunny place. There is no better place than the desert. So in deserts around the world Solar Panels were placed and soon a portion of the energy needed to power the countries of the world was generated. Sonny and Sunny knew they would need more than just Solar Energy to remain Fossil Fuel free, so they continued their search for new locations – like the Rockford Housing Authority.
Sunny and Sonny then focused on how water could help meet the energy needs of the planet. Soon they discovered that rivers and oceans around the world could become one of the greatest power sources equaling that of the sun. Just as the world leaders and Sonny and Sunny had come together to thwart NePHy they came together to build these hydropower farms in rivers and oceans all around the world.
They continued to find ways to generate more energy. They discovered the power of the wind. While not as constant as Solar Energy and Hydro Energy, Wind Energy would provide their planet with extra energy that could help everyone. Soon Windmills were popping up all over the world, by great lake formations and in windy regions of other countries.
Their last gift to their world was a way to use the heat from the core of the Earth to provide energy to area’s that weren’t able to have these other renewable energy sources.
To be continued…