Engineers bring awareness to STEM careers ahead of National STEM Day

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INDIANAPOLIS — National STEM Day is Monday, November 8, and is meant to bring awareness and celebrate careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.

In 2019, Census Bureau estimates showed nearly 10.8 million workers in STEM occupations.

Three of those work here in central Indiana and bring awareness and give advice to those working or wanting to work in STEM fields.

Roderick Conwell is an engineer at AES Indiana and has been for the last 30 years. He currently serves as the director of transmission & distribution engineering. He works with businesses coming to the city who want to expand their company. He also works with different projects around the city. Conwell said growing up, there were few opportunities to learn more about a career in STEM. He also said that he finds his job very rewarding.

I think the most rewarding part would be knowing that an engineer starts putting pencil to paper, and then, maybe, with the click of a mouse button, design starts, and in the end once it is all said and done and finished, you have the satisfaction knowing that everything works as it should, as it was designed.

Roderick Conwell

Conwell also said that opportunities in STEM fields can take you from the bottom to the top, from entry-level jobs to presidents and CEOs.

Across town, Dr. Ken Reid and Joan Martinez work in the R.B. Annis School of Engineering. Dr. Ken Reid is the associate dean and director of the school of engineering. Joan Martinez is an associate professor. Both said they enjoy working in STEM fields and said the most rewarding part is seeing that “lightbulb moment.”

The best part about this job is the light bulb moment. When you’re working with students and they don’t get it, and you can tell even if they say they do, you can tell you should try something different. You try hands-on activities, and then you see the student get it. That lightbulb moment is the best part by far.

Dr. Ken Reid

Some advice they all give to anyone who is interested in pursuing a career in a STEM field:

  • Explore your passion and interests and ask questions.
  • Talk to your parents or teachers about how to get more involved in STEM fields.
  • Being in STEM is not just sitting in a lab, it takes you where you want to go.

The U.S. Department of Energy has several resources to help kids who are interested in STEM.

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