STEM Spots

Thursdays at 9:45 a.m.

STEM Spots is a weekly look into science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Hosted by Dr. David Cornelison, professor in the department of Physics, Astronomy and Materials Science at Missouri State University, STEM Spots invites local experts to discuss advances, issues and theories dealing with all matters of STEM.

Well, it is almost on us, the total eclipse that will arrive late in the morning on August 21st.  For those of you who have been away, Missouri State is hosting an eclipse event, which will be held at 10:30 AM in Plaster Stadium on Monday, August 21. 

This week Becky Baker, who has worked tirelessly to arrange the activities, stops by to talk about everything that will happen.  Listen in as we discuss the eclipse itself, the activities for Plaster stadium and the motivation to use this natural event as a way to celebrate science and our place in the universe.


Google hasn’t had a great week.  Once again, evidence of trouble in Silicon Valley was on display as an engineer at the tech firm distributed a long memo positing possible explanations for the dearth of women in tech fields, specifically at Google.  Although the memo called for more diversity, in many cases the explanations for the disparity seen in tech were based on possible gender differences, such as more neuroticism, that seemed to enforce negative stereotypes. The response was near universal condemnation and, in fact, led to the engineer’s termination as a Google employee. 

Peter Batemon

When we advise students at the University, many times we key in on phrases, such as “pursue your passion” or “follow your dreams”.  However, in the realities of life with college expenses on the rise, is that advice the most important to give?  Or should the search for a way to be productive and successful be the primary motivation for students today?   The big question is, “Can you do both?”  Certainly, that is possible in many fields, but nowhere more likely than in the sciences and engineering.  This week we’ll talk about a new list from that shows the highest paying jobs for

We talk quite a bit on the show about the public’s view of science.  The odd mixture of respect and dismissal truly strikes home when seeing the impact of medical decisions on the ones we love.  In the current case of Charlie Gard, there is a clear disconnect between the view of expert medical scientists and those who are related to the child.  Yet, the completely understandable emotional response exhibited in this case also seems to pervade the discussion of less immediate ideas, such as climate change, evolution or energy production. 

When people hear about the newest breakthroughs in physics, their imaginations can sometimes get the best of them.  So it goes when you talk about the strange world of quantum behavior.  Over the last decade and a half, experimental work has developed a theoretical idea which sprang from the fertile mind of Albert Einstein; that of quantum teleportation.  Even though Einstein didn’t use that term and, in fact, wasn’t even a supporter of the theoretical postulate, the public loves the idea and sometimes leaps to the conclusion that soon we will be able to move matter from one place to anoth