MORRISTOWN, NJ - Brian Young, Director of the Morristown High School STEM Academy and Deborah Spencer, Aerospace Engineering Teacher at Morristown High School were among four STEM leaders included in last week’s web-based panel discussion. 

This panel discussion addressed the national concern that 38 % of students who start with a STEM major in college do not end up with a degree in the same discipline.

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In the discussion, moderated by Janine Mooney, Editor-In-Chief of Wireless Design & Development, these key STEM leaders discussed what teachers, professors and STEM organizations can do to keep students involved.

"From my own personal experience, its important to de-mystify the engineering curriculum", said Deborah Spencer, Aerospace Engineering Teacher at MHS . "Kids need to know they can succeed. Tell kids they are smart enough and that (the STEM program) its hard and fun".

In addition, these leaders participated in an indepth discussion of the types of STEM curriculum best suited to retain students in STEM. Brian Young, STEM Academy Director at MHS said "to keep students involved, it is important to create a positive learning environment. Build an "I can" mentality which is a powerful tool that they can take with them".

Finally the panel discussed what, if anything, businesses can actively do to encourage students to continue pursuing a degree in STEM. "Industry can provide role models and mentors for these kids", said John Bossi, President of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science & Technology). "Especially when you are trying to  enhance the stem workforce". 

STEM is the "hardest fun they will ever have", concluded Bossi.

To view the entire discussion; visit