You’re hired!


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I recently met some talented young people to whom Donald Trump should well pay attention. Given only an hour, they designed profitable luxury high rises `a la Manhattan and Atlantic City.

These futuristic hotels were constructed as part of the Philadelphia Engineering/Math Challenge. Six teams of nimble-minded middle and high school students from Philadelphia were tasked with building the most profitable hotel within several strict parameters- here are just a few of the rules:

  • Hotels must have exactly 50 rooms and…
  • The more windows and roof access the more profit, but…
  • The higher you build or the larger the building footprint, the more taxes you must pay (as high as 5000% more)

Want to try it yourself? You can read a full description of the challenge here:

I had the honor of serving as a “real-life scientist” judge. The winning team from Palumbo used a series of ten- story towers to construct the winning design.

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Getting kids interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) is important not only for their personal net worth, but for the nation’s as well. Here are a few interesting facts:

  • The US recently dropped to sixth among industrialized countries based on indicators of innovation and competitiveness that included venture capital investment and scientific research funding
  • Workers in STEM fields can expect to earn 26 percent more on average vs. those in other fields
  • You don’t need a bachelor’s degree to benefit from STEM training: half of all STEM jobs are available to workers without a four-year degree and pay over $50,000 on average
  • In 2012, there were 2.4 STEM jobs for every 1 person seeking employment, vs. 3.1 unemployed people for every 1 non-STEM job
  • 20% of undergrads in China are studying in STEM fields compared to less than 5% in the US

During my time at the Math+Science Coalition, I’ll be helping the coalition better connect Philadelphia students and teachers to STEM opportunities across the city. I’ll also be working with the School District of Philadelphia as they redesign their K-12 STEM curriculum. I look forward to sharing my journey with you, thanks for reading!