STEM has become a primary focus of education and academic communities around the world. The acronym stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, the four fundamentals of what is, in part, an educational philosophy and an industry. In the twenty-first century where innovations in technology are the driving force behind business and the economy, STEM is more important than ever.
STEM Focus in New Mexico
New Mexico and especially Albuquerque has become a hotspot for STEM industries. Sandia National Laboratories is located in Albuquerque, a national security contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). This industry relies on people with strong STEM skills to be the present and the future of American security.
New Mexico is also home to various space exploration industries throughout the state. These space research, development, and testing facilities thrive on STEM based technologies. This industry is projected to grow steadily, creating more jobs for engineers and scientists. A thorough understanding of scientific and mathematical concepts creates the necessary foundation for future STEM-based careers.
The Importance of STEM in Dentistry
The various technological advancements in dentistry over time and in recent years are a result of STEM education. Science and math are the basis for engineering and technology. To develop a new technology, one must have the scientific knowledge and math skills to invent or “engineer” it.
Technology in dentistry has made procedures more accurate, less invasive, and has shortened both the length of procedures and the recovery time. Laser dentistry is an example of a dental tool that has revolutionized the field, making it possible to perform a variety of procedures much more quickly and with less pain for the patient. Robotics in dentistry is another revolutionary technology that can guide procedures for accuracy and precision.
ABQ Pediatric Dentistry utilizes technology in the form of advanced digital X-ray and imaging equipment for fast and accurate diagnosis of dental issues both above and below the gum line. Digital intraoral cameras are also an effective tool that makes it possible for the dentist to view areas of the mouth that are otherwise difficult to see. The image from the camera can be immediately uploaded to a computer screen or tablet so that the patient can also see and understand their own dental health.
How ABQ Pediatric Dentistry Promotes STEM Education
ABQ Pediatric Dentistry prides ourselves on being a part of the community-wide initiative to promote STEM education. Our space themed office provides a fun and inviting atmosphere for children, while promoting the importance of science and technology.
We also created the Healthy Teeth Club to motivate our patients to take good care of their teeth. By practicing good oral hygiene habits at home and going to the dentist every 6 months for cleanings and oral exams, patients can be entered into a monthly drawing to receive a prize. Our STEM-based prizes promote interest and development of these skills.