Tag Archives: Dr. Steven Graves

STEM Punks

A new report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development shows the US is lagging behind in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) when compared with other nations. The study ranked the US twenty-one out of twenty-three countries in Math, and seventeen out of nineteen countries in problem solving.

But at CSUN, the Mechanical Engineering department is trying to change that trend by providing students with hands on experience. One of those projects is called Matador Motorsports Racecar Building Team.

Geography professor Steven Graves said students need more than a classroom experience. “You have to have both sides,” Graves said. “You have to be able to connect the theory to the practical application.”

Matador Motorsports allows students to build racecars from scratch every year. Through this project students are able to apply the theories they have learned in previous classes.

“We not only do the scientific analysis behind it, but we also physically build it ourselves,” Mechanical Engineering student Ryan Camire said. “So we’re not just engineers, we’re also craftsman.”

A major issue of STEM education has been diversity. President Obama launched the Educate to Innovate initiative in 2009, with a particular objective to diversify the STEM talent pool by including more women and people of color.

“Walking into classes, you’re probably one of three, maybe, women, or maybe the only one,”  said CSUN Mechanical Engineering student Mayra Montesinos. “I know this past summer I took a class, and I was the only woman in the class.”



Moderator: Mihkel Teemant

Anchor: Brionna Lewis

Reporter: Jonny Green

Social Media Editors: Jacquelyn Koenig, Benjamin Ladiana and Trene Todd

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