After participating in TEAMS, students increase their knowledge of engineering, feel more confident about participating in engineering activities and increase their ability to work with others to solve complex problems. In recent years, countless reports have identified troublesome science and math achievement gaps in America, and signaled the need for renewed efforts to cultivate a competitive 21st century workforce. These reports point to the necessity of programs that foster STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) literacy in effective ways, and across a broader range of young people. The TEAMS Competition helps develop “STEM-capable” students in an engaging way by showing them how math and science, with an engineering focus, are used to make tangible differences in the world.
“What impressed me the most is the determination the girls showed applying problem-solving skills,” says Janet Mambrino, TEAMS faculty moderator at Xavier. “They did not give up when faced with complex problems. Instead, they worked together and kept plugging away until they were successful, walking away with a feeling of pride at their accomplishment.”
Focused on a theme each year, original academic and innovative concepts are developed for the competition based on the National Academy of Engineering‘s Grand Challenges. Tackling these challenges requires critical job-readiness skills such as collaboration, analytical thinking and multidimensional problem-solving. Students in the 2011 competition worked on the challenge of energy and the global need for diversification, efficiency, security and ecological sustainability. This year's theme was Engineering Healthier Lives and students looked at 8 different aspects of biomedical engineering.