Omaha, Neb. (Nov. 3, 2021) – Millions of STEM jobs go unfilled each year due to an ongoing nationwide shortage of STEM professionals. The shortage also hits home in Nebraska. National STEM Day on November 8 highlights the importance of creating accessible STEM opportunities for all, especially populations currently underrepresented in STEM fields.
Omaha STEM Ecosystem (OSE) is committed to transforming the Greater Omaha area into a robust center of STEM excellence and innovation through the expansion of its STEM Community Platform, a community effort launched earlier this year in partnership with AIM Institute and presented by Cox. Students, professionals and educators can now take advantage of an internship feature just added to STEMplatform.org, an online hub for high-quality STEM resources, including programs, events, career exploration tools and now internships.
Less than 46% of Nebraska’s 4th grade students are proficient in math, according to the U.S. Department of Education. By 8th grade, proficiency drops to less than 38%, and similar is true in science. This creates concern, as a healthy, vibrant community depends on a skilled and growing workforce. Connecting programs and resources to facilitate effective and efficient career pathways to close the talent gap is essential.
“Learning opportunities and real-life career experiences that promote successful development and critical thinking for our students in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math will help ensure a talented, thriving and equitable workforce for generations to come,” said Julie Sigmon, director for the Omaha STEM Ecosystem.
The STEM Community Platform offers easy functionality for organizations and businesses to conveniently share internships. Simply visit the Internship Offerings page, create an account and complete an information form and best practices assessment to submit an internship offering as a STEM Approved Program. This all-in-one resource also makes it easy for students to find and apply for internships. Students can quickly filter internships by organization, category, age range and more.
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium and the University of Nebraska at Omaha are founding partners of the Omaha STEM Ecosystem and have seen success using the STEM Community Platform.
“Internships are vital in the development of STEM skills for our students in their career exploration. We are proud to be a part of this new internship addition to the STEM Community Platform to help students have a direct resource to internships,” said Alexis Eilderts, internship coordinator at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.
The STEM Community Platform will continue to grow into the future thanks to ongoing connections and partnerships throughout Nebraska. OSE is currently working alongside the Nebraska Tech Collaborative, Beyond School Bells, Prairie STEM and Million Girls Moonshot to increase STEM program offerings throughout the state. The STEM Community Platform also has the support from founding and supporting community partners, which include Cox, Facebook, AIM Institute, Clarkson College, CyncHealth, First National Bank of Omaha, Iowa West Foundation, Metropolitan Community College, Nebraska Department of Education, Nonprofit Association of the Midlands, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium and University of Nebraska at Omaha.
About Omaha STEM Ecosystem
Omaha STEM Ecosystem believes in the power of connections, collaborations and communication to address the critical shortfall of STEM professionals in the Greater Omaha area. It is a collaborative partnership between education, government, nonprofit and business entities to maximize science, technology, engineering and mathematics learning initiatives for students and adults, especially those underrepresented in STEM careers.
Omaha STEM Ecosystem is transforming the region into a robust STEM community to grow its talent pipeline by providing opportunities needed to be successful in learning, scientific thinking, examining potential career paths and exploring opportunities to extend educational achievement. For more information, you can visit OmahaStem.org.