Disciplines related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (collectively known as “STEM”) are now a hot topic, especially in the United States, for two reasons.
The first is obvious — we are now living in a technologically-driven age, and we always have in a sense. And today, it’s clear that those who hold knowledge and competencies in these fields have significant advantages over those that don’t.
Second, many Americans feel that while the USA is a haven for STEM graduates and experts from other countries, that the country itself is seemingly unable to produce enough STEM graduates domestically. There is a perception that rival countries such as China and Russia are doing better in this regard, and lagging in the ability to produce people competent in STEM can negatively impact the USA in many ways.
Regardless, if you are a STEM student, are planning to become one, or simply have an interest in these fields, it can be helpful to contextualize and understand the broader impact of your discipline while keeping yourself up-to-date on what’s happening in related fields that can impact your own.
Here are a few blogs that can help broaden your horizons in these ways without overwhelming you or dumbing down the topic.
1.) Engineering Ethics
This blog is a little different from most of the others in that it focuses on the many moral and ethical issues and quandaries that face engineers and other people in STEM disciplines. Given that STEM does not happen in a moral vacuum, this is a blog worth following given the countless ethical issues with technology that have come up in recent years.
Where would we be without the humble circuit board? If you’re interested in the history, assembly, or the repair of now-ubiquitous circuit boards, this is a good place to check out.
This blog is heavily geared towards those with interests in software engineering, design, product management, finance, and related subjects. It’s also designed from the get-go to be a great place for students to brush up on a wide range of relevant topics.
This blog network has a good deal of info on topics that are not necessarily taught in school but are relevant in the professional world. Topics such as finance and management are covered within the context of STEM. There are also several well-produced videos on a range of different science and engineering topics.
5.) The Safety Zone
This blog focuses on workplace safety, mostly for engineers and chemists. Because safety is such a crucial part of practical engineering, the case studies and news stories presented here should be a must-read for any engineering student.
6.) MISUMI Mech Lab
This blog is a great place for practical tips and tricks on the use of various components, making it a valuable resource for STEM students and avid DIY’ers alike. There are also many different general interest stories covered related to various bits of engineering history. They also have resources specifically intended for STEM students and professionals through their MISUMI University Program.
Possibly the oldest one on this list, the Hackaday blog is an excellent resource for those with an interest in hardware and software customization and repair. It’s also one of the web’s most popular resources for practical (and no-so-practical) engineering solutions to everyday issues. The site has been the originator of many “hacks” that became viral, such as the race to build the smallest portable NES (Nintendo Entertainment System).
We are leaving out a few other excellent blogs, but these should be great for helping STEM students and other people interested in STEM get a good start. If you feel we’re missing out on a good resource for students, please share your picks and your thoughts in the comments.