Many companies are now faced with a huge engineering challenge. It has less to do with STEM, and more to do with creating the passion, drive and innovation in our future STEM workforce. We acknowledge a STEM pipeline, however, and that the pipeline must be constantly supplied and maintained to positively impact production and product. The projected demand for STEM workers in the near future is very high, which is accompanied by a very high earning potential for these workers. Afterschool programs, such as STARBASE 2.0 Afterschool STEM Mentoring Clubs, target middle school students help to develop our future STEM workforce. STEM Mentor programs such as these, not only present real-world challenges to students to help mold and sharpen their STEM skills, but also allow students to experience and put into practice strong soft skills that organizations say they look for, such as written communication, team-building, and leadership abilities. STARBASE 2.0 also helps to increase the diversity within the pipeline and allows diverse students to interact with someone who looks like them and who is already in the STEM field, through the mentoring aspect of the program. The afterschool or out of school time setting has allowed students to be more focused on challenges and allows for time to be creative and innovative.


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