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#BigBeacon Twitter Chat – April 22 – What Role Can Students Play in Attracting & Retaining their STEM Peers?

Preparing college graduates for careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is a national education priority in the United States. According to a report published by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, fewer than 40 percent of students who enter college intending to major in a STEM field actually complete a STEM degree. Many organizations have been working to address this issue on the national level, and higher education administrators and faculty are working on ways to attract and retain more STEM students on an institutional level.

EpicenterTo help address this issue, Epicenter’s University Innovation Fellows recently launched the #uifresh initiative, which was announced at the 5th Annual White House Science Fair. The initiative partners student fellows with university leaders from 10 schools to introduce innovation, entrepreneurship, design thinking and creativity to freshmen during orientation as a means of showing the breadth and applicability of STEM disciplines.

The response and interest from our students in this initiative was significant, and it made us wonder:

What other ways can current STEM students play a bigger role in
attracting and retaining their peers in this field?

How might students collaborate with faculty and administrators at their schools
to engage their STEM peers and create community?

On April 22, at 8 p.m. ET, please join us for a conversation about the role of students in helping to attract and retain their STEM peers. Hosts will be Laurie Moore, communications manager for Epicenter (tweeting @EpicenterUSA) and Katie Dzugan, associate for Epicenter’s University Innovation Fellows student program (tweeting @itsKDuke).

About Epicenter:

The National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter) is funded by the National Science Foundation and directed by Stanford University and VentureWell (formerly NCIIA). Epicenter’s mission is to empower U.S. undergraduate engineering students to bring their ideas to life for the benefit of our economy and society. To do this, Epicenter helps students combine their technical skills, their ability to develop innovative technologies that solve important problems, and an entrepreneurial mindset and skillset. Epicenter’s three core initiatives are the University Innovation Fellows program for undergraduate engineering students and their peers; the Pathways to Innovation Program for institutional teams of faculty and university leaders; and a research program that informs activities and contributes to national knowledge on entrepreneurship and engineering education. Learn more and get involved at

How to Twitter Chat

If you’ve never Twitter chatted before, don’t worry; it’s very easy! First, get a Twitter account if you don’t already have one, and log in. At 8 PM ET on Wednesday go to and type #BigBeacon into the search box on Twitter. Thereafter all the tweets with the hashtag #BigBeacon will show up on your Twitter page. To participate, simply express your opinion by sending a tweet, and be sure to append the hashtag #BigBeacon so other members of the Twitter Chat see you are posting. Alternatively, automate the hashtag search and append feature by using the free service Tchat at

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. As a proud Caltech alum who attended HBS a year later and soon became and international banker (Chase Germany; Citi in the US, Asia, and London; the Industrial Bank of Japan) and VC (Citi London and related others), I am vividly aware of the faults of education on BOTH sides–the engineering side AND the business side. The silo mentality (not to mention the national/ethnic silos) was very alive and well 40 years ago and probably still is today, though in slightly modified and more disguised form.

    I would be deeply interested in helping to break down the walls and build a more constructive, cooperative relationship between disciplines than really ought to work smoothly together.

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