A STEM project can be a wonderful hobby. It can help an individual increase their self confidence, and often help them build interpersonal skills. A STEM project could also be a part of a showcase where an individual can express their talents and expertise for potential employers. STEM projects have also allowed people to break into new industries, build businesses, develop patterns, and solve complex problems. Every project has it’s own measure of success, and that measurement of success may often evolve over time. The one thing that remains constant is that the right project will often highlight a person’s work ethic, time management skills, and their level of dedication towards something. That project can become even more rewarding when it is something that is enjoyable and expresses an individual’s passion.
A STEM project can also help you get a job. I once attended an open house event at a major aerospace company for college students seeking internships. All of the students were impressive, each of them had impressive grades, and most of them attended big universities. The gentleman who was handling the recruiting for the company told me that there was one student who stood out particularly from the rest, and it was because of his hobby STEM project. The student built a replica model of the company’s newest plane. His STEM project helped him land an internship right on the spot.
STEM Projects Can Also Demonstrate Teamwork
STEM projects can also demonstrate teamwork. This is often the case in an engineering curriculum where students have to work on a senior design project. Engineering students that are entering their senior year may meet with team members to develop a concept, and present a prototype of their idea at the end of the year. They go through all the necessary steps and phases in order to create a design and present their prototype. The engineering senior design project allows students to get a sense of what it’s like to work within a team. Through this exercise students often learn the importance of conflict resolution, defining roles, staying within budget cost, and meeting deadlines. These are a few things that may be attractive to potential employers. Not to mention, quite a few senior design projects have also turned into startups.
My take on it
I love hobby projects, especially STEM projects. I also love tinkering with stuff and trying to create new things. This website is somewhat of a hobby project. Ultimately, I would like for it to grow over time and serve others, but as long as it is able to help someone out, then I will consider it a success. I tend to work on various hobby projects at a time because I like problem solving and staying busy. I recently had to take a break from posting on this site because I had to assist my group in completing our own senior project. I had to step back and focus design projects and finals for graduation. I am happy to report that I have completed the computer engineering program, and I will be receiving my diploma soon. I am also happy to back posting on this site and contributing to this project.
I usually tinker with microcontrollers and FPGA’s (Field Programmable Gate Array). In a previous post I wrote a brief introduction to microcontrollers. I’ll make sure to write an introductory post about FPGA’s later on as well. Both of which are components I often use in some of my projects. If these subjects interest you then here are a few of my favorite hobby sites to pick up some project ideas.
There are plenty of STEM projects out there that do not require the use of microcontrollers or FPGA boards. Although, I do tend to highlight microcontrollers and FPGA’s more often because of my background and their versatility. No matter what STEM project you choose, the important thing is to pick something that you enjoy. It doesn’t matter if physics project, geology project, chemistry, aerospace, or biology, chances are if you enjoy the subject it will be well worth your time and effort and prove to be rewarding on a personal level. Your project may even combine a few disciplines.
Listed below is a video from Afrotechmods on the Arduino microcontroller. It may inspire someone out there to learn more about microcontrollers and pick up a STEM project, or hobby of their own.