Page 7 - 2018 LWTech Tranformations Magazine
P. 7

Bridging Gaps in STEM
As our world becomes more technologically advanced, having the knowledge and skills to solve tough problems, gather and evaluate evidence, and make sense of information is crucial. These are the types
of skills that students learn by studying science, technology, engineering, and math – subjects collectively known as STEM.
Until recently, the vast majority of individuals pursuing STEM degrees identi ed as male. Over the past couple of decades, there has been an increase in individuals who identify as female entering science professions, such as chemistry and medicine. However, the number of women in computing and engineering occupations has declined, despite the demand for more workers.*
Even though women make up more than half of the population in the U.S., they are still underrepresented in these  elds. “From my experience, some girls are less con dent in their ability to succeed in STEM programs than boys, so it is less likely that they will try,” said Iuliia Dmitrieva, a student earning a Computer Science transfer degree at LWTech. Even though she is only one of
a few women in her program, Dmitrieva didn’t let that stop her.
After exploring Computer Science programs at local colleges, she chose LWTech for three reasons: the knowledgeable instructors, small class sizes, and quality curriculum.
“I was surprised by the amount of information that I could study in only two years,” said Dmitrieva.
Dr. Aparna Sen teaches a Biology class.
Not only are LWTech’s instructors providing essential skills in a hands-on learning environment, but they’re also serving as role models and mentors to female STEM students. Roughly 56-percent of full-time faculty identify as women, and several have extensive backgrounds in advanced research. Dr. Narayani Choudhury, who has an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Math, Physics, and Computer Science, contributed to a key discovery on a new state of water, in collaboration with Oak Ridge National Lab, while teaching at LWTech.** Dr. Aparna Sen, who has
a Ph.D. in Molecular Microbiology, researched vaccine development for HIV/AIDS and cancer before coming to LWTech. “I am pursuing my passion when I teach in STEM. My students see me as a role model and I love guiding them in this  eld,” said Sen.
In addition to knowledgeable and caring instructors, students will also  nd opportunities for STEM-focused extracurricular activities at LWTech. Student clubs,
like the Research and Innovation Club and Software Development Club, provide students the ability to collaborate with others on STEM-driven projects and gain leadership experience. Additionally, students
are provided with opportunities to participate in independent research with a faculty member and
present their  ndings at local conferences.
From experienced and supportive faculty to hands-on learning and small class sizes,
LWTech’s STEM programs are inclusive.
LWTech Spotlight
* It is estimated that the U.S. will need 1.7 million more engineering and computing professionals by 2022. Source:
** Source:
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