Jayuya STEM Scholarship
Today, STEM careers are synonymous to some of the coolest and best paying jobs in the world. The Jayuya STEM Scholarship is poised to help students from Jayuya, PR achieve careers in STEM fields. If you think STEM is for nerds, think again.
Who doesn't love Curiosity? The Mars rover touched down on the Red Planet in August. While we're all in the awe of this amazing robot, you might not realize that there is a human at the helm, navigating Curiosity over Martian terrain. One of the drivers is Vandi Tompkins (shown above with Curiosity's Earth twin), and she has one of the coolest jobs on (and beyond) earth. She holds a Ph.D. in Robotics, M.S. in Robotics, M.S. in Computer Science and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, and spends her days "problem-solving with an incredible team."
Staff scientists at 3M tend to be one of two things. There are R&D types, who are extremely knowledgable in a particular field (such as organic chemistry or optical physics), and there are people on the inventor/developer side. Ray Johnston is the latter, and he invented 3M's LED Advanced Lighting, 3M's first-ever consumer bulb, which boasts a 25-year lifespan. Johnston also revels in the fact that 3M works on new technologies, such as the films in the iPhone display, in addition to improving older products, like the 100-year-old sandpaper industry.
Those EA golf games are pretty lifelike, huh? That's because it's someone's job to fly around the world and scan famous golf courses and arenas so they can be as real as possible. That someone is Shannon Yates, who's been an environmental modeler for 12 years, and has been working on Tiger Woods PGA Tour since 2008. For his work on the golf game, Yates spends up to eight days capturing thousands of high resolution photos and surveying an entire golf course using HDS (high definition survey) equipment, Cyclone and Scene. He logs as many as 150 scan locations on a golf course, which provides raw data that's within 6mm of accuracy.
Tumblr is home to 92.7 million blogs, which churn out 76,139,943 pieces of content per day and yield 20 billion monthly pageviews. The word "Tumblr" has pretty much become synonymous with "blog," and it takes a lot of work to keep a product like that top-notch. Renee Perron is project manager at Tumblr, where she helps the product engineering team complete their projects on time and with all the tools they need, so that Tumblr can become better and better. "What that involves is some QA, light coding, filing and assigning site bugs, helping to prioritize new features, working with outside partners, and lots of running around and asking people for favors," says Perron. She works in the project management system Atalassian JIRA, combs through Zendesk support tickets and makes small PHP changes to improve the Tumblr experience for its millions of users.
Oliver joined ESPN as director of production analytics in 2011 after spending several years with the Denver Nuggets and Seattle Supersonics, where he some programming language, statistical packages, databases and Excel to provide insights to management about trades, free agency, draft analysis and coaching issues. Oliver earned a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina in 1994, having worked in environmental engineering, risk analysis and mathematical modeling.
Pay attention to Oliver's statistical models — they could help you draft some killer sleepers for your fantasy team
William Wagner is a hybrid of a 3D Printing Engineer and a Materials manager. In short, he ensures that each customer's creations are produced as quickly as possible, and he also explores how new materials can be integrated into 3D printing (Shapeways prints in ceramic, steel and more) to enhance the technology. He's always looking to improve product quality and production efficiency.
"Additive manufacturing is a relatively new field, so the technology is still in a volatile state of evolution," explains Wagner. "My job is to find new uses for materials and finishes that will bring Additive products closer to traditionally manufactured alternatives. This often involves hacking into industrial 3D printers and getting my hands dirty messing with resins, molten metal, glass, and aerosol coatings. How cool is that?"
David Parker is the Director of R&D at Novacoast, where he works in computer security, often dabbling in "James Bond-like projects." Penetration testing, which is also known as ethical hacking or white hat hacking, is the term used to describe what Parker does when anyone from banks to hospitals to educational institutions and government hires him to break into their systems as a malicious hacker or unhappy employee would. After breaking in, Parker and his team present a detailed report that "usually shocks the executives," and then he helps them remediate their security vulnerabilities and develop custom software to make their systems safer yet easy to use.
Who doesn't love playing with Legos? Now imagine putting your "architectural expertise" to work, building roller coasters for the Legoland. That's the job of Mandy Jouan, a model designer who designs the Lego models at Legoland, the thrill-inducing nerd mecca.
Jouan graduated with a degree in sculpture and took a few electrical design courses, which helps her integrate animations into the models. To build models, she uses several computer programs, such as Rhino, Photoshop and a proprietary program created specifically for master model builders (though she sometimes does it the old-fashioned way and draws ideas with pen and paper).
She says her favorite part of the job is taking a Lego model design from concept to finish. "It is incredibly rewarding being able to see it a final product that I designed out in the public making the guests smile and hopefully inspire them to be creative in their own lives," she says.