The flow of energy goes through technology, education
We hear a lot about STEM in education today, and for good reason: There is growing evidence that knowledge of science, technology, engineering and math will hold the keys to some of the best jobs in the future.
Many of those jobs will emerge in the region’s energy industry, but in our story about a recent STEM Initiative Forum held here in Washington County, it was obvious that knowledge of these areas is being sought by all types of industries.
While the four disciplines are being promoted as a way for America to continue to be one of the most innovative countries on earth, proof of their combined application to create world-changing approaches to work can be simply described in the process used to produce this column.
When I started my first newspaper job in 1974, everyone typed on cast-metal manual typewriters and used scissors and glue pots to “cut and paste” our stories into a readable order.
Less than a decade later, thanks to the work of people like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and others who created software and the personal computer, the process of writing was revolutionized, along with practically every other imaginable business function – from spreadsheets to order processing and inventory controls.
Before the end of the 1990s, practically every executive in every industry had a PC on his or her desk.
It was the concepts of STEM that were at the heart of this technological revolution that we take for granted today.
That revolution begat the telecommunications revolution that gave us cell phones, GPS navigation and now smartphones that contain more computing power than a desktop PC from a decade ago.
Ansys Inc. is a local example of how STEM enables companies use a suite of software tools to efficiently perform engineering simulation to make better cars, cell phones and countless other products more efficiently.
And as Jeff Kotula notes in his column in this month’s edition, STEM – even in the days before it had an acronym – made it possible for America to enter and take a leadership position in the space race.
STEM education truly is preparation for the jobs of the future, but whether it’s energy, manufacturing or any other endeavor, those in education and industry have recognized its importance and are discussing the ways they’re applying it in the classroom and the workplace.
Speaking of working, our article on Weavertown Environmental Group’s expansion of its services into the Texas oil and gas industry may be the first example of a local company that is marketing its oil and gas expertise learrned here to another huge energy market.
And our story about the the latest fuel use figures for PJM Interconnection, the power distribution grid that serves 13 mid-Atlantic and Midwestern states, including Pennsylvania, shows how natural gas is rapidly becoming a fuel of choice in power generation.
The subject of energy is a broad one, touching everything from a variety of fuel sources to technology and education. This month’s Energy Report takes a look at the latest developments.
Corbett: Plant decision probably next year (7365)
Roman Catholic bishop of Harrisburg dies suddenly (7350)
IG: Pittsburgh VA didn’t abide Legionnaires’ rules (7346)
Former Miss Rain Day adjusts to life with lupus (429)
Washington woman embraces community commitment (423)
Incumbent-less race lets ’Burgh hit reset button (332)
Former Miss Rain Day adjusts to life with lupus (261)
Washington woman embraces community commitment (187)
Batch addresses W&J grads; Cal U. holds commencement (176)
Route 40 festival marked with nostalgia (146)