Kimon Chapman conducts an experiment in a chemistry class at Harris-Stowe's Academy for Science & Mathematics this summer.
Bob Morrison | Harris-Stowe State University

Some incoming freshmen at Harris-Stowe State University are getting their first taste of college life — and a crash course in math and science.

Every summer, the Academy for Science & Mathematics provides up to 25 students with free room and board and a $1000 stipend.

Alex Heuer

According to studies, minorities are the most underrepresented when it comes to careers in science, technology, engineering and math. Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls, a STEM college preparatory school set to open in the fall of 2015, hopes to change the course of that statistic by preparing minority students for STEM careers while providing a single gender school setting.

Mary Stillman, the schools’ founder and executive director and a graduate of an all-girls school, decided to open the school after hearing about the success rate of an all-girls public school in New York.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Relatively speaking, not that many students take the Advanced Placement course in computer science.

Out of a little more than 2.3 million students for all subjects, fewer than 40,000 students took an exam for the course last year. While there was a slight uptick in the percentage of minority and female students, the data continue to show a jaw-dropping lack of racial and gender diversity.

Nationally, only 4 percent of all students who took the test were African American and just 20 percent were female.

(Flickr/Tanya Monro)

As of the last U.S. Census, only 28 percent of the workforce in science and engineering was female.

The Women in Science & Entrepreneurship Conference is addressing that disparity. It aims to help women in the sciences find the right career path and go further. WISE, as the conference is being called, will take place Friday in St. Louis. The event is sold out.

St. Louis Economic Development Partnership website

The global manufacturing company Emerson is upping its investment in the Ferguson community to show "renewed commitment" to the place it has been headquartered for 70 years.

"We choose to be here and are committed to this community, especially now in its increased time of need," chairman and CEO David Farr said in a press release. "We...want to help remove barriers so that more of our neighbors can succeed."

Image courtesy of St. Louis Community College

By 2022, employment in the STEM fields ― science, technology, engineering and math ― is projected to grow by 12.4 percent in the St. Louis region.

That’s compared to an expected growth of only 9.2 percent for non-STEM jobs.

Those are among the estimates provided in the sixth annual State of the St. Louis Workforce Report, released this week by the St. Louis Community College.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Even though Barbra Pener teaches science and robotics, she likes to start the school year with a quick history lesson.

She points to a picture of the famous late 19th and early 20th-century scientist Marie Skłodowska-Curie that hangs on her classroom wall.

“Her husband Pierre is in the photo, and she’s holding the baby,” Pener said.  

She then rattles off for her eighth-grade students Skłodowska-Curie’s list of accomplishments, including multiple Nobel Prizes and the discovery of two radioactive elements.

Flickr user omervk

A recent Brookings Institution report looks at millions of job openings across the country to see how hard it is to fill science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) positions in a hundred metro areas. The answer: hard.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Yinzi Liu sat in the café at Washington University’s Medical School and nervously fiddled with the sleeve on her coffee cup.   

The 28-year old will graduate tomorrow with a doctorate in developmental, regenerative and stem cell biology.  While earning her degree she spent countless hours glued to a microscope, peering into zebrafish embryos for clues that could one day lead to the early detection of human birth defects.

By most accounts she should be brimming with excitement. Instead she’s loaded with anxiety.

“The clock is ticking,” Liu said.     

A microscope.
(via Flickr/igb)

Six years ago Mary Stillman attended a lecture by Ann Tisch at Washington University.

“That was my ah-ha moment,” Stillman recalls.  “Here she is talking about this group of public schools for girls who wouldn’t otherwise have this model of education and it’s working.”

Tisch is the founder of the Young Women’s Leadership Network, which operates a network of all-girls public schools and boasts a 93 percent graduation rate at its flagship institution in East Harlem.

(Via University of Missouri-St. Louis)

The University of Missouri-St. Louis has begun construction on a new science teaching facility.

The four-story addition to the Benton-Stadler science complex will house laboratories, lecture halls, and a central meeting space for students and faculty.

The dean of UMSL’s College of Arts and Sciences, Ron Yasbin, says science education used to mean students going to lectures on campus, and then working through homework problems on their own, outside of class.

breahn / Flickr

Companies from across the St. Louis region are launching a new program on Monday that’s aimed at steering women toward careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, related fields.

The mentoring and job shadowing project is a partnership between the private all-girls Catholic high school Cor Jesu Academy and companies that include Ameren, Watlow and Barry-Wehmille Companies, Inc.

President of Cor Jesu Academy, Sister Barbara Thomas, said they’ve worked with each company so that a woman engineer is onsite to guide students.

(Flickr Creative Commons User Daniel Leininger)

Jobs that require at least some STEM, or science, technology, engineering and math, knowledge make up a big chunk of the St. Louis region's economy. 

That’s according to a new report from the Brookings Institution. 

Usually, researchers consider a plant scientist or electrical engineer as someone with a STEM job.

(Courtesy: Eric O. Curry)

For years, the three R’s of a basic education have been reading, writing and arithmetic.

While there are some indications that American students are faltering in reading and writing, especially worrisome is arithmetic.

Among the world’s industrialized nations, the United States is far down the list on math proficiency and math literacy, well behind such countries as Liechtenstein and Slovakia.