By: Lucy Dondero
Dr. Guariglia, has been appointed the position of Vice Principal of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics ). She studies the effects of environmental toxicants on neurodevelopment along with the students at the Institute of Scientific Research.
STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach. Rather than teach the four disciplines as separate and discrete subjects, STEM integrates them into a cohesive learning paradigm based on real-world applications.
All of this effort is to meet a need. According to a report by the website STEMconnector.org, by 2018, projections estimate the need for 8.65 million workers in STEM-related jobs. The manufacturing sector faces an alarmingly large shortage of employees with the necessary skills — nearly 600,000. The field of cloud computing alone will have created 1.7 million jobs between 2011 and 2015, according to the report.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that by 2018, the bulk of STEM careers will be: Computing (71 percent);Traditional Engineering (16 percent) ;Physical sciences ( 7 percent); Life sciences (4 percent);Mathematics (2 percent) .
Students are extremely curious and impressionable, so instilling an interest at an early age could spark a lasting desire to pursue a career in any of these fields.
By the time a student is ready to enter the work force, they must have enough knowledge to make invaluable contributions to our nation’s STEM industries.
It is also important that schools have an ample amount of teachers who are experts in STEM, and these subjects should always be considered as high demand subjects.
The program of study focuses on the application of the subjects in a challenging and rigorous manner. Courses and pathways are now available in STEM fields and occupations, as well as preparation for post-secondary education and employment. More emphasis is placed on bridging in-school and out-of-school STEM opportunities.
This research is to see what occurs on a chemical, cellular, systemic, and behavioral level in the brain following sub-acute exposures to these toxicants.
Dr. Guariglia says they are doing this research, “to determine if such exposures have detrimental effects on the brain and to learn how we can alleviate or reverse such effects if exposure occurs.” Dr. Guariglia and her students believe that these toxicants have effects on neurodevelopment. Her goal, she explains, is “to see if
these toxicants impair learning, memory, sociality or induce anxiety.”
Dr. Guarilgia hopes her students will be able to inquire the important questions, “that can be answered using appropriately designed experiments,” she says. Dr. Guariglia and her students are hard at work to demonstrate their findings at the New York City Science and Engineering Fair.
The students are preparing scientific manuscripts so they can be published in medical journals in hopes that their findings can be shared to the global scientific community.