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Cool STEAM Careers

Is your gifted student interested in STEAM careers? Welcome to the first installment of our STEAM careers spotlight! Learn about four intriguing STEAM careers and influential people within each field. Plus, discover related STEAM courses offered at Summer Institute for the Gifted (SIG) in 2020.

Here are 4 Exciting STEAM Careers:

1. Epidemiologist

(SIG students visit the CDC in the Medical Microbiology course at SIG at Emory 2019.)

Epidemiologists study the cause of disease in humans and research methods of controlling disease outbreaks. These public health professionals analyze the origin of disease outbreaks, how the disease is transmitted between people and the best course of treatment.

Notable Epidemiologists:

  • Hippocrates: Known as the “Father of Medicine”, the Greek physician was the first known person to study the relationship between disease and environmental factors.
  • John Snow: Regarded as the “Father of Modern Epidemiology”, Snow traced a 19th-century cholera outbreak in the Soho area of London to a public water pump on Broad Street.
  • Janet Lane-Claypon: During the early 1900s, Lane-Claypon developed the case-control study, a fundamental method of epidemiological investigation, during her research into breast cancer risk factors.

Recommended SIG Courses:

  • Medical Microbiology (ages 13-14)
  • Pandemic Preparedness (ages 13-14)
  • DNA Diagnostics (ages 13-14)
  • Environmental Causes of Disease (ages 15-17)

2. Statistician

(Students engage in real-world statistical analysis at SIG at UMiami 2019.)

Statisticians analyze data using mathematical techniques to solve problems. Statisticians work in a number of fields, such as public safety, health care, and sports. Plus, the statistician field is projected to be one of the fastest-growing STEAM careers in the next decade. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that employment in the field will grow by 31% between 2018 and 2028, much faster than the average projected growth of all occupations.

Notable Statisticians:

  • David Blackwell: Blackwell, an American statistician, is known for his significant contributions to game theory, probability theory, and Bayesian statistics. In 1965, Blackwell became the first African American member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.
  • Florence Nightingale: Nightingale is known as a pioneer in the visual representation of statistics. She is credited with developing the polar area diagram, a type of pie chart, to illustrate important statistics in health care.
  • John Tukey: American statistician John Tukey is regarded as one of the most significant contributors to modern statistics. Tukey helped develop the Fast Fourier Transform algorithm to understand waveforms in fields from astrophysics to electrical engineering. Today, his contributions are used in a variety of STEAM careers. For example, Tukey coined important terms in computer science such as “software” and “bit”.

Recommended SIG Courses:

  • Sports Franchise Development (ages 11-12)
  • Fundamentals of Mathematical Modeling (ages 15-17)
  • The Mathematics of Finance (ages 15-17)
  • Big Data: The Age of Analysis (ages 15-17)

3. Game Designer

Learn game design, coding and more at SIG!

Game designers create all of the functions of a game, including the responses to the player’s actions. Game designers approach problem-solving both logically and creatively while working with programming languages to create an ideal user experience.

Notable Game Designers:

  • Shigeru Miyamoto: Considered one of the most influential game designers of all time, Miyamoto helped create significant games that developed into massive franchises, such as The Legend of Zelda, Mario Bros., and Mario Kart. Miyamoto continues to work on designing games while training the next generation of Nintendo game designers.
  • Sid Meier: Canadian-American game designer Sid Meier is the creator of many popular strategy-based simulation games, including the immensely successful Civilization series.
  • Jane McGonigal: American game designer Jane McGonigal is known for creating games that encourage young people to make the world a better place. One of McGonigal’s best-known games, EVOKE, is an online multiplayer alternative reality that educates young people on global issues. Translated into three languages, the game has been enjoyed by student groups in over 100 countries.

Recommended SIG Courses:

  • Gaming: From Concept to Cash (ages 7-8)
  • Concepts of Coding and Engineering (ages 7-8)
  • Introduction to Scratch Programming (ages 9-10)
  • Advanced Scratch Programming (ages 11-12)

4. Physicist

Blast off! Learn about rockets, astronomy, and quantum physics at SIG.

Physics encompasses all aspects of matter and energy. Likewise, the physicist career field spans many subjects, with physicists specializing in areas such as quantum physics, particle physics, astrophysics, and more. Physicists work in a wide variety of fields, including education, engineering, government, medicine, and research and development in the private sector.

Notable Physicists:

  • Isamu Akasaki: Japanese physicist Isamu Akasaki won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2014. Akasaki, along with Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura, developed efficient blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs) using gallium nitrate.
  • Lise Meitner: Meitner was an Austrian-Swedish scientist who worked on radioactivity and nuclear physics. She helped discover the nuclear fission of heavy elements. Meitner was nominated 29 times for the Nobel Prize in Physics between 1937 and 1965.
  • Wolfgang Pauli: Austrian-Swiss physicist, Wolfgang Pauli, was the first to discover the neutrino, an uncharged and massless particle. In 1945, he won the Nobel Prize in Physics for developing the Pauli exclusion principle, which states that two electrons cannot occupy the same quantum space simultaneously in an atom.

Recommended SIG Courses:

  • Civil Engineering: Builders at Work (ages 7-8)
  • Amusement Park Physics (ages 9-10)
  • Engineering Your Future (ages 11-12)
  • Theories of Time Travel: Spacetime Physics and Wormholes (ages 13-14)
  • Aerospace Engineering: Sustainable Solutions (ages 13-14)
  • The Quantastic World of Quantum Mechanics (ages 15-17)
  • Astrophysics: Real Star Power! (ages 15-17)

Discover More STEAM Careers

Stay tuned for more intriguing STEAM careers featured on our blog! Meanwhile, learn more about how the SIG methodology enriches gifted and talented students. Discover exciting SIG courses spanning all facets of STEAM plus the humanities and fitness, including the courses listed above.


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