-Posted by Paige Barnes, CEEF Director of Education
One of the main reasons CEEF was formed and Energy Day came to be is because of the often-repeated question: why don’t more students pursue careers in STEM industries, especially the energy industry? Another question is why don’t we see more diversity in STEM fields? The very simple response is that students don’t see diversity; they don’t see their future selves in the current workforce, so they don’t see it as an option. And keep in mind, diversity is deeper than skin color and culture; beneath those things are distinct and different personalities.
Take my story: I went into college as an engineering major; however, I graduated with a degree in Psychology. Why? The short answer is that I couldn’t see myself surrounded by the peers in that engineering department for the rest of my life…and it was all about personalities. No one “showed” me that an incredibly outgoing, slightly dramatic, adventurous, and spirited and animated young lady who talks with her hands A LOT could be happy in a field of what appeared to be bookish and quiet people who were incredibly annoyed by my personality.
One of the goals of the Energy Day Program is to inspire and motivate students to stay active and interested in STEM subjects; another is to encourage them to pursue careers in STEM fields. That begins with keeping students interested in STEM subjects…AND giving them an accurate view of what those careers actually look like, including the vast variety of people, personalities, and job opportunities. An integral part of that is sharing YOUR stories: in addition to hearing personal journeys and stories from adults in the workforce, students need to hear from other students! In order to accomplish our goals and make Energy Day the best it can be, we need your feedback.