Joseph Zawicki, associate professor of earth sciences and science education at Buffalo State, is available to speak about the STEM disciplines, and their impact on the future. Through his work with the WNY STEM Hub, as president of the board of directors, and the New York State STEM Education Collaborative, Zawicki is working with students and educators on providing more training for students in the STEM fields.

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. Traditionally, these were taught as discrete subjects, with the instructor giving the students information, and the students memorizing the information. STEM, however, takes a different approach, capitalizing on the vast overlap between these fields, appreciating how interrelated yet complicated these integrated disciplines can be. It’s a matter of looking at the whole picture, Zawicki said, and not just a piece of it. 

“It’s really about applying all those skills,” he said, noting that the process involves students figuring out why something is happening, as opposed to just knowing that it happened. The goal is to “empower” students, Zawicki said, so they’re prepared to take on jobs in the STEM fields.