Science | Technology | Engineering | Mathematics

Here at Heritage Ford we value inquisitive minds, logical reasoning, and collaboration skills which, unsurprisingly, are all valuable traits within the STEM fields.

What is STEM?

Science | Technology | Engineering | Mathematics

You may have heard of the importance of “STEM education” and “STEM jobs.” It seems like everyone is talking about it, but what exactly does the acronym STEM stand for?

STEM is an acronym for the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Discussion of STEM-related programs has become a presidential priority because too few college students are pursuing degrees in these fields. The U.S. Department of Labor expects that there will be 1.2 million job openings in STEM related fields by 2018, but there won’t be enough qualified graduates to fill them.

What separates STEM from the traditional science and math education is the blended learning environment and showing students how the scientific method can be applied to everyday life. It teaches students computational thinking and focuses on the real world applications of problem solving. As mentioned before, STEM education begins while students are very young.

STEM education focuses on the introductory level STEM courses, as well as awareness of the STEM fields and occupations. This initial step provides standards-based structured inquiry-based and real world problem-based learning, connecting all four of the STEM subjects. The goal is to pique students' interest into them wanting to pursue the courses, not because they have to. There is also an emphasis placed on bridging in-school and out-of-school STEM learning opportunities.

At this stage, the courses become more rigorous and challenging. Student awareness of STEM fields and occupations is still pursued, as well as the academic requirements of such fields. Student exploration of STEM related careers begins at this level, particularly for underrepresented populations.

The program of study focuses on the application of the subjects in a challenging and rigorous manner. Courses and pathways are now available in STEM fields and occupations, as well as preparation for post-secondary education and employment. More emphasis is placed on bridging in-school and out-of-school STEM opportunities.

Ford struck a deal with Domino's earlier this year and, in tests of self-driving pizza-delivery cars in Florida and Michigan, began taking notes on how customer and car interact in the all-American act of delivering a pizza.

At the end of August 2017, randomly-selected Domino’s customers in Ann Arbor had the opportunity to receive their delivery order from a Ford Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Research Vehicle, which was manually-driven by a Ford safety engineer and staffed with researchers. Customers who agreed to participate were able to track the delivery vehicle through GPS using an upgraded version of Domino’s Tracker®. They also received text messages as the self-driving vehicle approached that will guide them on how to retrieve their pizza using a unique code to unlock the Domino’s Heatwave Compartment™ inside the vehicle.

In February 2018, Ford announced they were setting up their first self-driving business in Florida’s Miami-Dade County to prove the self-driving business model. As part of this, Ford announced they were conducting research in Miami with their partner’s Domino’s and Postmates, to better understand the customer experience of food and parcel delivery. Over the past few months Ford has been conducting research with Domino’s on the streets of Miami and Miami Beach to understand how customers interact with self-driving vehicles in an urban environment. This includes learning about the different parking challenges, identification and notification of customer pickup areas, as well as different customer behaviors. Both the research with Domino’s in Miami this year and in Ann Arbor last fall is helping Ford to design their purpose-built self-driving vehicle planned for 2021 so it is easy for customers to interact with and use.