Students and educators in science, technology, engineering and math are celebrating STEM Education Month across the state in April.
Gov. Roy Cooper proclaimed this month as STEM Education Month in North Carolina on April 13. Cooper wants to recognize STEM educators across the state who are preparing students for careers in STEM, according to a press release from his office.
William Vincent, an engineering instructor at East Chapel Hill High School, said every month is STEM Education Month for him.
He holds STEM camps on Saturdays for underrepresented middle school students. High school students from these populations also often help with the camps, he said.
He said he has conducted research regarding underrepresented communities at ECHHS. In this context, underrepresented means a population that has a disproportionately low enrollment compared to the general population, Vincent said.
"We are trying to target underrepresented populations to extend an invitation and to expose them to STEM," he said.
Vincent said he would like to see more opportunities for people to see and connect with STEM and understand what it means. He said people’s perceptions of STEM are often narrow and that the month should highlight how the fields interact.
He added that even a few years ago, people thought artificial intelligence was a thing of science fiction, but now it is very much a reality, which will change opportunities available in the future.
“There are going to be other careers in the future that we don’t even know about," Vincent said. "When children who are kindergartners today go into the workforce, they are going to be facing a lot of different careers that don’t exist today."