Why Students Need to Learn About STEM

Nicola Palmer, Verizon Wireless Senior Vice President and Chief Network Officer, is a major advocate for the inclusion of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in school curriculums.

Palmer recently visited two schools in New York State’s Fayetteville-Manlius School District. Her mission was to encourage and challenge students, including young women, to learn more about STEM-related topics – and what STEM means in the real world. “I’m very passionate about science, technology, engineering and math – especially for women,” said Palmer.

To engage and interest students, Palmer talked about the evolution of wireless technology and showcased mobile phones from the past and present. Her young audiences thought the progress of technology was cool. She also spoke about how engineers help adapt technology in our communities, using a wireless antennae as an example – often in plain sight like those incorporated on light poles, but brilliantly disguised by engineers.

In a blog post on the Fayetteville-Manlius School District’s website, Howard Botting, a district technology teacher, noted, “Ms. Palmer is a great role model for our female students, someone they could emulate in following their interests in technical subjects. I’ve noticed that girls generally outperform the boys during their projects in sixth and seventh grade, but by the end of middle school, girls are a minority in the technology classes. I’d like to reverse this trend.”

While joining the workforce may be a few years ahead for these students, Palmer’s visit encouraged kids to start thinking ahead and explore the possibility of STEM careers. Judging by the expressions on the faces in the crowd, it got them thinking.

For more information about STEM job opportunities at Verizon, visit the Verizon Careers website.


Photo credit: F-M Schools