Exploring STEM With the Zombie Apocalypse

Exploring STEM With the Zombie ApocalypseEspecially with the school year starting up, it’s important to stay focused on STEM skills if you want to eventually pursue a career in manufacturing.

As a reminder, STEM skills include science, technology, engineering, and math, and they’re the cornerstone of skills needed for a technical career in advanced manufacturing.

Traditionally, many students think of things like math and science as boring subjects that they take only because they’re required to.

But not any more.

A new Texas Instruments campaign, called STEM Behind Hollywood, is aiming to make STEM more exciting for students by using things like zombies and superheroes to show how Hollywood uses real-world science.

One of our personal favorite themes from the campaign is the STEM of the Living Dead. According to TI, this math and science activity is designed to model “the transmission of a hypothetical zombie contagion through the human population, the infection rate and logistics patterns due to resource limits.”

The video below introduces the themed campaign:

This isn’t just some kind of joke, either–there’s real math and science to STEM Behind Hollywood. TI explains how:

This activity encourages students to engage with, visualize and grasp STEM concepts like the exponential growth of a zombie horde and how the growth turns into a characteristic ‘s’ curve from limited resources as the infection spreads through the human population.

The activity gives students an inside-look at STEM careers such as epidemiology by using modeling and graphs that the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control use to track the spread of infectious diseases.

By taking cool subjects like zombies and superheroes and applying real STEM skills to them, Texas Instruments (and their partner for this project, the National Academy of Sciences’ Science & Entertainment Exchange) hopes to get more students interested in how science and math work.

We think it’s a great idea, and encourage any of our readers to get involved with this new campaign!

The upcoming themes for STEM Behind Hollywood include Space, Forensics, and Superheroes. Students, teachers or parents interested in learning more about the project can visit the project’s website, STEM Behind Hollywood.

photo credit: hollowcrown_ via photopin cc