SER STEM Program
The SER STEM Program was launched in response to the meager numbers of underrepresented female, Latino, and other minority high school students who are considering careers in STEM.
What is STEM? STEM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
The SER STEM Program is intended to stimulate interest in STEM. The goal is to encourage students to attend higher education and pursue STEM-related careers. SER National reaches out to schools with an enrollment of over 75% of their student population participating in the reduced or free lunch program.
Five years ago, SER National rolled out three components of the SER STEM Initiative: the SER Conference STEM Program, the SER STEM Day, and SER Robotics.
SER Conference STEM Program
Every year during the SER National Annual Conference, SER National hosts over 350 students from 10-15 different area schools to spend two days in an intensive robotics learning experience and competition. The students are separated into two hands-on STEM activities: robotics or drones. As part of those two days, the students also attend two luncheons with executives from corporate America, government officials, educators, and the community at large.
SER STEM Day
Each year, at multiple locations, the SER STEM Day provides access and opportunities in STEM fields to over 5,000 disadvantaged students by opening their eyes and minds to a future of possibilities. Each SER STEM Day starts with a plenary session with a distinguished speaker such as José Hernández (retired NASA Astronaut). From there, the students go to an exhibit area, workshops, and hands-on coding sessions taught by subject matter experts representing corporate and government employers.
Supporting robotics teams in New Mexico and the Dallas/Fort Worth area, SER Robotics engages underrepresented students in robotics competitions. Students are exposed to new areas of learning, such as computer-aided design, electrical wiring, component fabrication and assembly, robot programming, web design, 3D animation, and photo/video documentation. The program made a believer of a student who previously stated, “I absolutely hated math and science,” into one who earned a scholarship to study engineering at a prestigious state university.
As the students work together with their fellow teammates, they enhance their academic, technical, and leadership skills to attain educational success. The program introduces students to the exciting world of robotics through designing, building, testing, troubleshooting, and competing with their robot against other schools from across the state in a sanctioned event.