How to Get Involved in STEM Without Being an Academic

How to Get Involved in STEM Without Being an Academic

The STEM acronym stands for science, technology, engineering and math.

If you aren't planning on earning a STEM-related PhD, there are still tons of useful ways to get involved in STEM without being an academic! Here’s a bunch to start.



1. Be Inspired By How Stuff Works.

Inspiration grows from an interest in learning. Asking about how stuff works reveals something paramount about you as an individual, and it pushes you to try new things and become more efficient at them.

Your are already using STEM techniques in your daily life. Discover how. There are ways to assess your surroundings that illuminate enchanting complexities about existence.

Thinking about how stuff works makes you more likely to experience positive cognitive changes such as: increased creativity and perspective, improved memory, better strategic thinking, improved relationship-building skills, etc.



2. Be an Amateur.

Especially in STEM, nobody expects you to know everything. There are many STEM jobs where it's vital to complete tasks accurately (such as in medicine or mechanics), but it’s OK for topics beyond your scope of experience and employment — to be occult adventures!

It's OK to let go of the burden that you should or will ever have it all figured out. STEM is a continual journey that requires patience, and patience is guided by passion. Have a passion for accepting yourself at your many levels of knowledge or lack of. Have fun, and stay open minded!



3. Learn Leadership.

Leadership is in your methods of accomplishing work, visions and goals. We use leadership in our relationships, businesses, psychology and STEM.

3 easy ways to apply leadership in your daily world: learn about human thoughts, emotions and behavior. By knowing yourself, you can lead yourself. By leading yourself, you are motivating others to be self-guided and leaders.


4. Write.

Writing is largely about organization and transference. Language helps us articulate important relationships and ideas. Writing helps us model relationships and trace them compactly.

It's profittable to build writing confidence and personal voice. Writing can feel intimidating, but if you write about things you genuinely enjoy, you will develop writing habits more easily and smoothly.

Designate time in the day or your week to sit alone and write something. Journals, prompts you find online, critical essays — just write. Moreover, spend just as much time reading as you do writing. Reading and writing are complimentary, and the more you learn to read, the better you'll write.

It also benefits your STEM techniques to be interested in literature, work and ideas from others.

Dr. Jordan Peterson's Essay Writing Guide via Essay.App

501 Writing Prompts



5. Seek STEM-Related Careers.

There are many STEM careers that do not require academic degrees. Any hired profession will have some kind of training, but there are non-degree opportunities for people interested in STEM.

15 STEM Jobs that Don't Require a Degree via Indeed

STEM Jobs That Don’t Require Four-Year Degrees via Stairway to STEM

How to Get into a STEM Career With No Formal Background via Kforce

High paying STEM jobs that don’t require a degree

Get into IT Without a Degree: It’s a Lot Easier Than You Might Think via Comptia


6. Participate in STEM Outreach.

A lot of people don't realize the possibilities that exist for them through STEM. Exposure to scientists, engineers, instructors, technology and the scientific process plays a critical role in sparking humanity’s interest in it.

You do not need to be directly affiliated in STEM to still show support and particulate in STEM outreach. Fill your social media timelines with profiles of people in STEM. Share STEM articles and podcasts you like with your friends, or create a group text or Discord to share discussion about news and research studies.

Get involved with your local universities, factories or startup companies to volunteer or attend public events. Simply showing up to hang out bottles of water or listen to a STEM presentation helps tremendously.


7. Share the Story of Your Passion for STEM.

What makes you interested in STEM? What ways has STEM benefitted you without you needing to individually be an academic? Why do you think it's important for others to get connected to STEM work and conversations?



8. Digest STEM Content.

Subscribe to STEM news channels and socials of companies who are doing things or having conversations you like. Podcasts, YouTube, Audio Books, Discord, Twitter and many social platforms have information to keep you engaged and inspired.



9. Volunteer in STEM Projects and Research.

Support chosen non-profits and educators with a monthly donation. Hunt for research studies to participate in. Volunteering with local STEM organizations helps you learn team working, communication and problem-solving. There are companies, schools, summer camps, mentorship programs and community organizations that are always looking for volunteers.

Example: Northeastern University's volunteer opportunities in Illinois

Example: STEM-E Youth Career Development Program volunteer opportunities

Example: Minnesota STEM Volunteering Opportunities

*Look up opportunities local to your state/region!


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