Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (S-STEM)
We’re putting S-STEM scholarships to work for PTC students.
With funding from the National Science Foundation’s Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (S-STEM)*—and the expertise of PTC faculty in STEM programs—we’re preparing a new generation of up-and-coming professionals to make their mark.
The purpose of the grant is to increase the academic and career success of academically talented students in information systems, computer programming, and energy electronics technology. At PTC, we’re rolling up our sleeves and offering integrated programming and support, including a mentor team comprising faculty, STEM industry professionals, and near-peer STEM students; and a multidisciplinary service-learning STEM project.
Browse the activities below to learn about the projects and mentorship that are designed to support our STEM scholars as they progress through their academic careers and prepare for professional success, too.
*Grant ID 2030741
S-STEM Scholarship Activities
S-STEM cohort starts an ambitious project
The S-STEM scholars enrolled in a custom STEPS 2 course. The goal of the class was to put the students together in a cross-disciplinary environment. Our employers desire students that can work across disciplines. This course gave our S-STEM scholars the experience and confidence to succeed.
The students were given a project to use an Arduino board to gather and record temperatures in a database. The project had elements from all three majors represented in the cohort. There were electronic, IT, and programming elements. The project required the three disciplines to work together, and to teach each other. Students from each of the three disciplines took control of their part of the project. The solved their piece of the puzzle, and then taught the others in the group how to complete the task.
Alec Swiger talks with the S-STEM scholars
Alec Swiger, a PTC ITNA alumni took the time to speak with the S-STEM scholars. Mr. Swiger works for GE Healthcare. He discussed several topics. He encouraged the students to push themselves. When in doubt about a task, Alec suggested that the students “say yes to the task, then learn how to do it.” He reinforced the notion that not all learning takes place in a classroom. You as a learner usually must research the question until you can internalize the question and make it your own. Alec gave two good pieces of advice for success. First, he told the students to self-motivate. The only person who can truly motivate you is yourself. Secondly, he told the students to ask for help when needed. None of us know everything, and it is a sign of strength to ask for help.
STEM Poker Hunt acquainted students with PTC faculty, technology, and facilities
This poker-themed activity asked our STEM scholars to do the legwork to see who could win the best hand. Designed to connect students with STEM faculty and discover on-campus technology, students were asked to visit five locations on campus, including PTC’s Energy Tech Building, CAD Manufacturing Lab, library, Electronic Communications Lab, and The Mochnick Cyber Security Center.
Dr. McNeill and Mr. Cottrell created the activity so that students could explore and explain the foundation, operation, importance, and function of STEM technology and resources at PTC. The activity also gave students an opportunity to introduce themselves to faculty and develop their communication skills with faculty and their peers.
At each location, students drew a card then submitted their five cards with their completed assignment. Prizes were given for the best hand and second-best hand.
First S-STEM Cohort enrolled in PTC
PTC sat the first of the Step into Stem Scholars in the October 2021 quarter. Eight students enrolled in a customized STEPS 1 course. The eight students were selected based on Accuplacer scores, High School grades, and economic need. We were excited to help this cohort on their college journey.
The course deviated from the traditional Freshman studies courses. We focused on teamwork, time management, and cross-disciplinary studies. Each week the students watched a video, had a short discussion, and completed assignments outside of class. Dr. McNeill and Mr. Cottrell used the class to get to know the cohort as individuals.