Curiosity. It’s a mindset—and a skill. And it’s something you’ll need a big dose of as you build your future. Keep digging, try new things and find out what you can do now to be ready for tomorrow.
Does your school offer Project Lead The Way courses? Organized by career pathway, these courses challenge you with solving real world problems and give you insight into what a career in STEM might be like.
At the high school level, the pathways include:
From launching space explorations to delivering safe, clean water to communities, engineers find solutions to pressing problems and turn their ideas into reality. Through courses like Computer Integrated Manufacturing, Environmental Sustainability, and Civil Engineering and Architecture, PLTW Engineering empowers you to step into the role of an engineer, adopt a problem-solving mindset and make the leap from being a dreamer to being a doer.
Through courses like Biomedical Innovation, PLTW Biomedical Science lets you step into the roles of medical investigators, surgeons, microbiologists, geneticists and biomedical engineers to explore realistic situations. You might investigate the death of a fictional person or analyze the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease.
Dive into projects like creating an online art portal or using automation to process and analyze DNA-sequence data as you think big and illustrate how intricately computer science is woven into our society.
Find out more about what you like to do and pump up your resume at the same time. See if your school offers any of these or similar activities:
Browse interesting stuff to do around town on STEM Connect-KC. From Saturday STEM Seminars at Union Station to the SciFlix movie series on the KU Edwards Campus, these events are worth checking out! Check out the filters to narrow things down. You can search by audience, STEM focus, location, key word and more.
You’ll find many forks in the road on your way to a great job in a STEM field. A four-year degree may be the most well-known path, but as you’ll see in this series of short videos, it’s certainly not the only viable route.
Flatland KC’s “Getting to Work” series is part of the national American Graduate program and looks at how Kansas Citians find pathways to gainful employment.
This segment on stackable credentials is a great place to start watching:
The Agile Work Profiler from the DeBruce Foundation will help you discover how you can use your skills and interests across many careers. After you take a quick online quiz, you’ll get feedback about your natural agilities and can use the career exploration tool to see where these skills might take you.
Roll up your sleeves and delve into this curated list of STEM-related career planning and exploration websites.
Several local STEM employers offer internships or other learning experiences for high school students.
Kiewit LEAD Internship
Kiewit Power Engineering’s paid, full-time summer LEAD internship provides challenging and achievable projects that encourage participants to pursue their passion for the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This program is meant for Kansas City based incoming high school juniors, seniors, college freshmen or incoming college sophomores. The application period usually opens in early November and runs through January. Learn more at kiewitjobs.com.
Honeywell HOPE Scholarship
The Honeywell Opportunity for Prosperity through Education (HOPE) Scholarship prepares students for skilled positions at the Kansas City National Security Campus where science, technology and innovation converge.
Scholarship awards range from $1,000 to a full-ride scholarship for each year of full-time enrollment in a two-year trade or technical program at a local community college. The scholarship is renewable for up to three years, pending good academic standing. Awards are based on academic achievement, character, work experience, financial need and intended field of study. The application deadline is typically March 1 of each year.