Many people think of STEM, and think of chemists, computer programmers, engineers, or mathematicians. But STEM encompasses so many different careers, many of them inside hospitals. Hospitals are prime employers for STEM educated students. And not all of them require college or advanced degrees.

Everyone working inside a hospital touches technology in one way or another. Technology is the mechanism by which a hospital properly cares for its patients, while keeping safety and timeliness in the forefront of care.  When you think of a hospital, you may initially think of physicians and nurses. These positions are prevalent in a hospital setting and certainly use STEM principles day-to-day.  Nurses and physicians give care directly to patients, but there are also many other positions with an indirect, yet still very important impact on patient care.

Bayhealth recently undertook the task of implementing an electronic health record (EHR). This health record will better enable the hospital, and all of its counterparts, to care for patients. The new health record, named EPIC, created nearly one hundred jobs at Bayhealth, all in the surrounding technology fields. The project employed both developers and analysts who built the system, but also evaluated its usage from billing to coding to how systems communicate. The program allows physicians and other medical staff to access patients’ records immediately, allowing for seamless transition of care across the continuum. Furthermore, the program now allows patients to access their own health records, and even schedule their own appointments with some Bayhealth Medical Group providers. That’s putting technology in the hands of the consumer, ensuring they have the power over their own healthcare.

While the EPIC project has been instrumental, there are so many day-to-day jobs within our hospital that utilize STEM principles. Bayhealth employs clinical engineers who work around the clock to make sure all of the hospital’s equipment is working. The laboratory employs technicians and phlebotomists. Diagnostic Imaging utilizes technicians employing the latest technology with 3D mammography and open MRIs. The pharmacy employs pharmacists and technicians using state-of-the-art robotic equipment to deliver patient medication in the most effective and timely manner.

Our Information Technology team keeps all of our equipment online while also securing private patient information.  We recently unveiled a brand new infant tracking system to make sure new bundles of joy are secure within the hospital. Not only does the system keep mom and baby connected, it allows medical staff to know the baby’s precise location throughout the hospital. Our public safety team relies on state-of-the-art technology to monitor our facilities and keep our patients and our staff safe. We recently created a new position focusing on hazardous materials, and how best to deal with them.

As a hospital, the number one goal is to meet the need of every patient that enters the building. That means for today and tomorrow. As leaders in the health care industry part of our job to look ahead, and foresee future needs and determine how we can accomplish them.

Who knows when or where the next Einstein, Florence Nightingale or Bill Gates will emerge?  What young mind will benefit from STEM education and discover the cure for diabetes or cancer. Which youthful researcher will formulate the medication that will reduce or eradicate the debilitating effects of Alzheimer ’s disease?  We might never find out if the leaders and teachers of today do not inspire the professionals of tomorrow!


 

Catherine Salvato: A nurse leader providing results-oriented health care over a 35-year professional career of leadership, managerial and clinical practice. My goal is to use my management and training skills to profitably grow a business unit within a dynamic team-oriented healthcare organization. Key strengths result in increased profitability, long-term relationships with customers, and increased market share. Career high point has been partnering in the acquisition of a small Delaware based nursing company and growing it into an award winning health care training organization.

At AstraZeneca, we are guided by our purpose to follow the science and deliver life changing medicines for the millions of patients that rely on us.  We are also deeply committed to supporting the vitality of the communities where we live and work. Delaware provides an excellent environment for AstraZeneca employees at our North America Commercial headquarters in Wilmington and manufacturing plant in Newark.  Ensuring the vitality of the STEM infrastructure in Delaware is a critical priority; both as a business that is invested in innovative treatments for patients, and as a committed corporate citizen dedicated to the sustainability of the state economy.

The state of Delaware has the second largest number of STEM jobs available in the country behind Massachusetts[i]. However, filling these roles requires qualified workers, and only 16 percent of US undergraduate degrees are in a STEM field[ii].  The drop off in STEM begins early; the US Department of Education finds that by eighth grade 83% of students in the US are not proficient or not interested in STEM fields. We believe that there is no one size fits all approach to address a challenge of this scale. Rather, true progress will rely on connections and collaboration across sectors working to improve learning and development, workforce readiness and technical skill development.

One of the primary ways in which AstraZeneca is working to address STEM infrastructure in Delaware is by bringing together local community stakeholders to map out existing efforts, key challenges, and opportunities to address unmet needs. As a convener, our goal is to enable and encourage strategy development by experts and practitioners across sectors. Attendees from business and trade groups, healthcare systems and community-based nonprofits provide their insights on needed programs and establish a foundation for meaningful and impactful partnerships.

AstraZeneca also provides resources to community groups working along the learning and development continuum toward our goal of building and enabling the next generation of entrepreneurial problem solvers. The Delaware Children’s Museum encourages engagement in STEM fields as early as pre-school through interactive exhibits. Middle school students learn about careers in science through Delaware State University’s Robotics Camps. High school students participate in hands on STEM competitions at Delaware Technical College’s annual STEM EXPO. Undergraduate students at the University of Delaware develop innovative ideas to address major health challenges through the Grand Challenges Program. Collectively, these groups help to inspire continued involvement and interest in STEM fields through engaging content that supplements the school day and provides real world application.

Finally, AstraZeneca employees are engaged in building the STEM infrastructure in Delaware as volunteers and board members.  Employees serve on the Board of Directors for the Delaware Bioscience Association and the Delaware Boys and Girls Club, in each case helping these organizations to achieve their mission. Employees also volunteer on a regular basis with groups across the state.

At AstraZeneca we are proud to play a part in Delaware’s efforts to prepare the next generation of leaders – as a convener, a supporter and as a community of dedicated and passionate employees. Together our progress will lead to gains in quality of life, better outcomes for patients and communities and a strong future for the state of Delaware.


[i] https://cew.georgetown.edu/cew-reports/states-online-college-job-market/

[ii] https://cew.georgetown.edu/cew-reports/help-wanted/


Stephanie Andrzejewski Head of External Affairs, US Corporate Affairs, AstraZeneca – Bio

Stephanie oversees corporate responsibility, stakeholder engagement, and strategic philanthropy for AstraZeneca’s US business. She is also Head of Corporate Affairs for the AZ Respiratory portfolio leading a team of public affairs and communication experts. Before joining AstraZeneca, Stephanie was responsible for a number of key healthcare accounts at MSLGroup, a strategic communications and engagement company. She has experience in stakeholder mapping and engagement, building multidimensional advocacy relationships and leading cross-functional teams. She received a B.S. in Communications from Mansfield University and has professional affiliations with PRSA, the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, and the Public Affairs Council.

At Gore, we rely upon strong technical depth to drive our technology and innovation efforts, as well as a deep understanding of our end-use applications. We draw upon a wide array of disciplines within STEM education to support our success. And as a company with strong Delaware roots, we know that we will only grow stronger as part of a community that values STEM education and that builds the minds needed to solve tomorrow’s scientific challenges.

Countless studies have shown how vital STEM education is for our children and the future of our society and our national and global economies. STEM occupations are growing at a faster rate than other fields, and STEM workers play a critical role in fueling innovation and economic growth. Yet we also know that U.S. students lag internationally in science and math scores and that gender and racial disparities remain common in these fields.

As I reflect on my own personal career at Gore, I clearly benefited from having a strong STEM education, which helped lay the foundation for future opportunities. When I graduated from the University of Delaware in 1983 as a mechanical engineer, women represented only around six percent of U.S. engineers. Today, around 18 to 20 percent of engineering students are women—a significant improvement, yet still notably low considering that roughly 57 percent of college students are female.

A vast majority of teenagers are discouraged from pursuing STEM careers because they do not know anyone who works in these areas and don’t have a clear picture of the work done in these fields. And women and minorities in particular are less likely to choose a STEM career and have less support for pursuing these careers.

Fortunately, those of us in STEM careers today have the ability to inspire the scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians of tomorrow. I am proud to see many of our Gore associates involved in STEM activities in their communities, mentoring and encouraging students in these subjects. We cannot underestimate the important role mentoring plays in inspiring students to explore STEM opportunities.

Indeed, studies show that when STEM mentors engage with students in high-quality, hands-on learning experiences, the impact can extend long beyond their time together. It builds confidence, curiosity and excitement in students who otherwise may never have pictured themselves in a STEM career. And when students have positive and engaging experiences with STEM subjects in their schooling, they are more likely to pursue and have success in those fields in adulthood.

It is encouraging to see the growing support for STEM in schools today and efforts to better engage with those underrepresented in these fields. These students represent our future, and will one day create new treatments for debilitating diseases, develop technologies that enhance people’s lives, and so much more. And it all starts with the right encouragement and learning opportunities.


 

Terri Kelly is President and CEO of W.L. Gore & Associates, a multi-billion dollar enterprise that employs more than 10,000 associates in 45 plants around the world. Gore specializes in fluoropolymerbased materials that are utilized in a wide array of high-value products, including GORE-TEX® fabric, medical devices, filtration and venting products and many other advanced technology solutions. Gore is as well known for its unique management philosophy and culture, as for its multitude of unique products. Kelly joined Gore as an engineer in 1983 after graduating summa cum laude from the University of Delaware with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. In her early years with the company, she gained experience as a product specialist with the military fabrics business — a unit she eventually led — helping it grow from a small start-up venture into a leading producer of protective products for the global armed forces. In 1998, Kelly became part of the leadership team for the global Fabrics Division. Prior to becoming the CEO, Kelly also served on the Enterprise Operations Committee working closely with the CEO and other leaders to help guide the strategic direction of the company. Kelly’s leadership abilities have driven her success in a company known for its non-hierarchical “lattice” structure. At Gore, associates become leaders based on their ability to gain the respect of their peers and to attract followers. Terri earned the title of president and CEO in 2005 — one of the few titles within the enterprise — following a peer-driven selection process. In addition to her role at Gore, Kelly is on the Board of Directors for the Nemours Foundation — one of the nation’s leading children’s health care systems. She serves on the Board of Trustees for the University of Delaware. Kelly is a member of the Management Executives’ Society, G100, and the International Women’s Forum. She resides in Delaware with her husband and four children.

Why Are Libraries Involved In…STEM?

I’m routinely asked why Delaware Libraries are involved in various topics, such as helping job seekers, supporting Entrepreneurship, assisting with healthy living, experimenting with STEM, and so on.  The fact is, libraries have always supported all topic areas, and initially that support was through our book collections.

The Delaware State Library Commission marks 115 years in 2016, and over the past 115 years, formats, or containers for information have advanced and proliferated (such as print books, eMedia, audio, video, online tools, and more).  In addition to collections for reading, libraries also offer experiences – computer and wireless internet access, workshops, programs, meet ups, and more – for hands on and shared learning.  Libraries work with partners and experts in our communities to provide unique experiences that Delawareans might not have the opportunity to have otherwise.

My favorite STEM concept is “systems thinking,” which is epitomized in our statewide library infrastructure.  The Delaware Library Consortium, celebrating the 10th anniversary of the launch this year, now includes 60 libraries, including all 33 public libraries.  The DLC libraries share seamlessly 2.6 million books, eBooks, and much more through the Delaware Library Catalog (delawarelibraries.org). In FY2016 STEM related books were borrowed more than 360,000 times, including more than 4,600 eBook checkouts of STEM items in the popular and growing eMedia collection!  The statewide library calendar showcases hundreds of library programs each month, including STEM activities.

STEM activities are routinely held in Delaware Libraries Inspiration Spaces, or mini-makerspaces, which are collaborative creative spaces where people can enthusiastically learn about and experiment with technology, entrepreneurship, and DIY activities.  Learn about the tools and activities available at Delawarelibraries.org/IS and http://guides.lib.de.us/stem.  The Delaware Aerospace Education Foundation and the Delaware Nature Society, two of our STEM partners, regularly conduct STEM programs in libraries throughout the state. 

The latest technologies (3D printer) are amazing to Delawareans of all ages:

The latest technologies (3D printer) are amazing to Delawareans of all ages

Colin Consavage shows Senator McDowell the prosthetic hand he made for himself using the 3D printer at the Wilmington Library:

Local farmer Keith Lohmeyer shares his engineering avocation with teens at the Bridgeville Public Library:

In partnership with DASEF, we’re seeking local astronomers and astrophysicists to help introduce new telescopes to the public!:

Delaware Libraries juggle, proudly, to support all possible learning opportunities for our communities.  Libraries have evolved over the past 115 years, and in turn, we support Delawareans in learning – and renewal – throughout life.

 

Librarians are fascinated by – what fascinates you!  And we’re here to help Delawareans discover a passion, explore curiosity, and achieve your versions of the Delaware Dream!

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Dr. Annie Norman is State Librarian of Delaware, is a member of the Governor’s STEM Council, and is Chair of the Governor’s School Libraries Council.  She was inducted in the Hall of Fame of Delaware Women in March.

http://libraries.blogs.delaware.gov/2008/03/17/welcome-from-annie-norman…

By Secretary Small (DNREC)

In a world of acronyms seeking relevance and recognition, STEM needs little introduction. Most of us  likely associate Science, Technology, Engineering and Math as a bundle of academic disciplines being emphasized at the local, state and national levels in an effort to boost student performance, generate greater student interest in these areas and ultimately strengthen our nation’s competitiveness and position in the global economic race to the top.

Check on all the above, but we also know, with just a tad more examination, that these concepts touch and enhance our lives every second. For the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, STEM is behind every action we take. Consider our mission to protect air and water quality and public health, manage our fish, wildlife populations and special landscapes such as beaches and wetlands and provide safe, quality outdoor recreational opportunities.  A few examples of how we apply STEM on any given day include determining the impacts to a stream from a wastewater  treatment plant, estimating the population of blue crabs in the Delaware Bay, assessing the effects on Delaware’s air quality from a power plant in an upwind state or determining the structural integrity and load bearing capacity of an elevated trail through Cape Henlopen State Park.

Every DNREC employee uses STEM on the job, daily.  We seek improved efficiency, new ways of solving recurring problems, and methods for organizing the trove of technical information we process and add to in pursuit of our mission.  Employees approach every task with the mentality that they are problem solvers, analytic thinkers, and can work both independently and in project teams.  Once we define the challenge through STEM, we employ the associated soft skills of communication, collaboration and management to effect change, often navigating across the dangerous intersection of policy and science.  Our work, like STEM skills, is not about just what you know, but what you are able to do with the information.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is especially proud to support STEM education and workforce development through its advocacy of the Delaware Children in Nature Coalition.  DNREC has been a key supporter of the Coalition since its inception in 2010; providing professional and financial assistance from multiple Divisions.  The Coalition is Delaware’s “primary advocate for promoting meaningful outdoor education experiences for our youth during ‘in-school’ and ‘out-of-school’ time.”  Delaware Children in Nature is committed to supporting STEM through public and youth engagement in experiential opportunities.  The 27-member Coalition provides field trips, teacher trainings, public programs, schoolyard habitat construction and maintenance support, supports the Green Ribbon Schools program, promotes healthy lifestyles, and is in the final stages of releasing an Environmental Literacy Plan developed in conjunction with the Delaware Department of Education.  In October 2014, the Coalition’s partners delivered STEM-related experiences across 16 sites to 219,520 people.

Please continue to support DNREC, the Delaware STEM Council, and the Delaware Children in Nature Coalition in promoting STEM education and skill development in Delaware through participation in this October’s Children in Nature Month activities.  For more information, visit delawarecin.org.

The world is full of acronyms lately, with STEM being very much in the headlines.  We are frequently made aware of the importance of STEM education, the future STEM workforce and its career opportunities, and how the United States lags behind the rest of the world in STEM skills.  It is fair to assume that when most people hear STEM, they quickly identify with the academic disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, but STEM truly transcends these boundaries and is symbiotically relatable to every aspect of our world.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control often associates STEM with the workplace, identifying the skills our workforce must possess to be effective and productive.  These technical skills are inherent in all academic disciplines and workplaces and range from the ability to research a topic, analyze information, and draw conclusions to being able to troubleshoot a piece of equipment, repair it, and communicate the process and means for improvement to the appropriate stakeholders.  While STEM workers earn higher wages and STEM occupations are projected to grow at a faster rate than non-STEM occupations, the skills needed to be successful in both are STEM-based.

STEM “soft skills” are integral to our daily lives.  Skills and actions we take for granted are foundationally STEM, such as interpersonal communication and cooperation, the ability to write instructions, develop plans and timelines, and effective leadership.  We constantly attempt to break complex systems and projects into smaller parts, identify relationships, and defend courses of action using factual information.  STEM-proficient citizens are better communicators, collaborators, and productive, happy people.

Secretary Small: 

David Small serves as Secretary of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. In this role, he serves as chief steward of Delaware’s environment – protecting and managing Delaware’s nature resources, providing quality outdoor recreation and protecting public health and safety. Sec. Small leads seven DNREC Divisions – Air Quality, Waste and Hazardous Substances, Fish and Wildlife, Parks and Recreation, Water, Watershed Stewardship, and Energy and Climate.

On Wednesday, May 20, 2015, Delaware Cabinet Secretary Edwin Kee met Daniel Suchenski from the Delaware STEM Council and Randy Guschl from the Delaware Foundation for Science and Math Education at Legislative Hall in Dover Delaware for a discussion on growing STEM in the state of Delaware and Advancing a Jobs Driven Economy. As part of the discussion, Secretary Kee was presented a copy of Advancing a Jobs Driven Economy, a book produced by STEMconnector’s STEM Higher Education Council. Secretaty Kee touted the importance of educating educators in biology and chemistry, among others, on the importance of agriculture in the states STEM framework.

Advancing a Jobs-Driven Economy was released in February, 2015 in Phoenix, AZ and Washington, DC. In the book, 62 education, business and non-profit thought leaders share proven models of partnerships that support STEM education and workforce development. The book is supported by an online portal, complete with examples of more partnerships, information about the STEM Higher Education Council, and instructions on how organizations can get involved.

About the Delaware STEM Council: The STEM Council, composed of more than two dozen appointed members representing businesses, educational institutions and government agencies throughout the state, was created by Governor Jack Markell in 2011 to increase the STEM literacy of all Delaware students, thereby expanding the STEM capable workforce and fueling economic growth for all Delawareans.

Head to DelawareSTEM.org or stemconnector.org/advancing-jobs-driven-economy to learn more!

On Monday, June 22, 2015, United States Senator from Delaware Chris Coons met Daniel Suchenski from the Delaware STEM Council and Randy Guschl from the Delaware Foundation for Science and Math Education at the Senator’s office in Wilmington Delaware for a discussion on growing STEM in the state of Delaware and Advancing a Jobs Driven Economy for the region. As part of the discussion, Senator Coons was presented a copy of Advancing a Jobs Driven Economy, a book produced by STEMconnector’s STEM Higher Education Council.

“At a time of scarce public resources, science is a critical investment,” Chris continued. “Right now, I need your voice, because there are very few in Congress who understand the compounding value of investment in basic and applied science, about the risks we face in intellectual property, and the importance of getting STEM education at the elementary school level right. We’ve got huge challenges ahead but also great opportunities – in green chemistry, in reimagining advanced polymers, in advanced manufacturing – and I’m looking forward to working with you to ensure our nation remains a leader in science.”

Advancing a Jobs-Driven Economy was released in February, 2015 in Phoenix, AZ and Washington, DC. In the book, 62 education, business and non-profit thought leaders share proven models of partnerships that support STEM education and workforce development. The book is supported by an online portal, complete with examples of more partnerships, information about the STEM Higher Education Council, and instructions on how organizations can get involved.

About the Delaware STEM Council: The STEM Council, composed of more than two dozen appointed members representing businesses, educational institutions and government agencies throughout the state, was created by Governor Jack Markell in 2011 to increase the STEM literacy of all Delaware students, thereby expanding the STEM capable workforce and fueling economic growth for all Delawareans.

Head to DelawareSTEM.org to learn more!

On Monday, May 9, 2016, United States Congressman from Delaware John Carney met Daniel Suchenski from the Delaware STEM Council as well as Randy Guschl and Anne Pfaelzer de Ortiz from the Delaware Foundation for Science and Math Education at the Congressman’s office in Wilmington Delaware for a discussion on growing STEM in the state of Delaware and Advancing a Jobs Driven Economy for the region. As part of the discussion, Congressman Carney was presented a copy of Advancing a Jobs Driven Economy, a book produced by STEMconnector’s STEM Higher Education Council.

“We talk about finding jobs. Well, there are jobs in STEM fields open right now, but we don’t have enough students choosing to go into that field.” Carney continued. “I’ve heard from employers across Delaware who struggle to find individuals trained in STEM fields. And I heard again this morning that one of the biggest challenges students face in completing STEM programs is the overwhelming cost. As an increasingly important part of our economy, it is crucial that we continue to encourage students to pursue a STEM education. We also need to ensure they have the resources to make it happen.”

Advancing a Jobs-Driven Economy was released in February, 2015 in Phoenix, AZ and Washington, DC. In the book, 62 education, business and non-profit thought leaders share proven models of partnerships that support STEM education and workforce development. The book is supported by an online portal, complete with examples of more partnerships, information about the STEM Higher Education Council, and instructions on how organizations can get involved.

About the Delaware STEM Council: The STEM Council, composed of more than two dozen appointed members representing businesses, educational institutions and government agencies throughout the state, was created by Governor Jack Markell in 2011 to increase the STEM literacy of all Delaware students, thereby expanding the STEM capable workforce and fueling economic growth for all Delawareans.

Head to DelawareSTEM.org to learn more!

On Wednesday, April 22, 2015, Delaware Governor Jack Markell met Daniel Suchenski from the Delaware STEM Council and Randy Guschl from the Delaware Foundation for Science and Math Education at Legislative Hall in Dover Delaware for a discussion on growing STEM in the state of Delaware and Advancing a Jobs Driven Economy. As part of the discussion, Governor Markell was presented a copy of Advancing a Jobs Driven Economy, a book produced by STEMconnector’s STEM Higher Education Council . During the discussion, Governor Markell touted the recent announcement of grants to 15 high schools in Delaware to support students studying key fields, the the purpose of continuing to provide students with the skills needed for the future workforce.

Advancing a Jobs-Driven Economy was released in February, 2015 in Phoenix, AZ and Washington, DC. In the book, 62 education, business and non-profit thought leaders share proven models of partnerships that support STEM education and workforce development. The book is supported by an online portal, complete with examples of more partnerships, information about the STEM Higher Education Council, and instructions on how organizations can get involved.

About the Delaware STEM Council: The STEM Council, composed of more than two dozen appointed members representing businesses, educational institutions and government agencies throughout the state, was created by Governor Jack Markell in 2011 to increase the STEM literacy of all Delaware students, thereby expanding the STEM capable workforce and fueling economic growth for all Delawareans.

Head to DelawareSTEM.org or stemconnector.org/advancing-jobs-driven-economy to learn more!