I've always loved thisword. Now, you're allowed to love it again, too.
There’s no shortage of companies, governments and organizations around the world searching for talented workers with a deep knowledge of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The demand is providing a clear pathway to rewarding, world-changing and well-paying STEM careers for many young people.
However, some students are missing these incredible opportunities because they haven’t envisioned themselves in STEM or encountered any mentors to show them a pathway for success.
FIRST is a global nonprofit that provides robotics-based programs and mentorship from adult volunteers such as educators and STEM professionals to students ages 4 to 18. FIRST is a mission-based robotics community that aims to get kids excited about STEM and allows them to build these talents, along with critical life skills such as communication and leadership, through team-based robotics competitions.
FIRST has a proven impact in guiding young people into STEM careers, all while having fun and making useful connections.
FIRST Championshipvia FIRST
Nearly 700,000 students and 320,000 adult mentors, coaches, judges and volunteers participate in the nonprofit community year over year, and the transformational power of FIRST programs was featured in the 2022 Disney+ documentary “More Than Robots.” Students develop problem-solving skills and learn confidence, cooperation, empathy and resilience—skills that will serve them well in their future careers.
Fazlul “Fuzz” Zubair, systems engineering department manager at Raytheon Technologies, an American multinational aerospace and defense conglomerate, mentors FIRST Team 4201, The Vitruvian Bots, in Los Angeles.
Zubair has hired 15 Raytheon Technologies employees from his FIRST team, creating a FIRST-to-work pipeline. Better yet, many of the new employees then give back to FIRST by mentoring their own teams. Zubair’s dedication to mentorship has created a cycle of positivity that continues to grow.
“Here, at FIRST, it’s a sport where everyone can go pro. They can come out of this program, and they can get a good-paying job and contribute positively to society and solve the tough problems that we have,” Zubair told Upworthy.
“Raytheon Technologies understands this, so it supports students in the program and its employees who mentor. Through FIRST, we’ve created a pipeline of people who already know how to collaborate with engineers and when they come into our companies, they have a head start,” Zubair continued.
Wireless communications innovator Qualcomm Incorporated is another multinational company that supports FIRST. It has been hiring FIRST students because of their advanced skill sets since 2006.
“They’re working on robots and learning things like coding and critical thinking, but they also have 21st-century skills like teamwork and the ability to collaborate with students that come from diverse backgrounds. Those are all things that are important in the workplace,” Natalie Dusi, corporate social responsibility manager at Qualcomm Incorporated, told Upworthy.
As employees, FIRST students join the workforce with experience and vital collaboration skills. “They roll up their sleeves and start innovating right away. When FIRST students come into Qualcomm Incorporated, they are confident,” she added.
Zubair says that FIRST students are valuable, in part because they understand that failure is part of learning and innovation.
“Learning through failure is something that’s really hard to teach,” he said. “You must go through that process. I like to tell my students all the time, ‘I’d rather you fail on this robot than a billion-dollar satellite. Learn now, fail often, fail early.’”
For FIRST CEO Chris Moore, the opportunity to gain confidence in STEM is an important and deeply personal issue. When he was in middle school, a teacher dissuaded him from pursuing a career in technology and he believes it had lasting, negative effects on his career. “Even now, as someone with decades of experience leading youth-serving organizations, this STEM inferiority complex has stuck with me, and at times I still doubt my own STEM competency,” he told Upworthy. “The reality is, STEM is achievable and rewarding for everyone, no matter their gender, age, race, economic standing orientation nor any other factor.”
Statistics point to a high demand for STEM workers and a short supply, especially in the United States and especially among women, underserved, and underrepresented groups. FIRST provides young people from any background with the skills they need to succeed in their STEM studies and future careers. Notably, FIRST reached more than 20,300 youth in underserved communities during its 2019 season.
FIRST students are twice as likely to express interest in a STEM career than their peers.
FIRST understands the value of inspiring all students and does so by providing innovation grants to teams from underserved communities and developing strategic alliances with the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, National Society of Black Engineers and Girls, Inc., and other like-minded organizations.
One of the lasting impacts FIRST has on students is an understanding that no matter who they are or where they come from, they can solve the world’s most pressing issues.
The theme for the 2022 – 2023 season is energy. Students will explore the essential role that energy plays in keeping the world moving forward, the possibilities that different energy sources unlock, and how we can all realize a brighter future through innovative ideas in energy generation, efficiency, and use.
Cooperation, empathy, and resilience are skills that last a lifetime and it’s never too early for a child to enjoy their benefits. Learn more about FIRST programs in your area and how you can become involved!
Go to firstinspires.org to learn more.
"Victoria was made up by a dude."
Ah, summer. The glorious season of barbecue parties, beach picnics and perpetual body image issues.
If you're a human living in our society, you've likely been impacted by messages about what your body should look like in a swimsuit. And if you're a female, those messages have been compounded by a multibillion dollar beauty industry designed to make you feel insecure so you'll spend more money on "fixing" your "flaws." Add in a culture of competition and mean-girl immaturity that weaponizes size and shape, and we have a perfect recipe for all kinds of body image-oriented disorders.
There's nothing wrong with our bodies, but there is something very wrong with the messages we get about our bodies. Thankfully, we've come a long way in recognizing the need for body positivity to counter those messages. However, according to Harvard researchers, it takes five positive comments to counteract the effects of one negative one. That means we have to meet the ads, billboards and magazine covers that constantly tell us we're not good enough with a tsunami of body-positive content.
And that's where a viral "Victoria's Secret" song from TikTok songwriter Jax comes in.
Jax has created a devoted following by sharing snippets of silly songs she makes up on TikTok. But her latest ditty isn't just a silly song—it's the summer anthem we didn't know we needed.
Jax introduces Chelsea, the kid she babysits, and they share a story about how a girl had told Chelsea that the swimsuit she tried on at Victoria's Secret made her look "too fat and too flat."
First of all, seething rage at that comment. Second of all, the mom in me is blinking twice at the idea of a preteen shopping for a bikini at Victoria's Secret, but let's just move on past that part. Third, it was meant as an insult of course, but even if it were a totally neutral descriptor, no one in their right mind would ever describe that child as fat. Why do girls do this?
So many WTHs going through my head before Jax even gets to her point, but when she gets there, it's awesome.
"I wrote a song for you," she tells Chelsea, "because when I was your age I had a lot of eating problems and I wish somebody would've said this to me."
(Jax also shared in the comments, "🚨Triggerr Warning🚨 for girls, guys, and whomever going through ED, this song is meant to make you smile but I know it’s much deeper than this.")
It's so good. Watch:
I wrote a song for The Kid I Babysit. It’s called Victoria’s Secret 🤫 ❤️ 👙 @TheLascherFamily #victoriassecret #fyp #bodypositivity #originalmusic
The "old man who lives in Ohio" is Les Wexner, the billionaire founder of Victoria's Secret's former parent company, L Brands. He stepped down from his role in the company in 2020 after buying the then little-known lingerie brand in 1982 and spending more than five decades at the helm.
So when Jax says she knows Victoria's "secret" is that she was made up by a dude, it's true. In fact, even the original Victoria's Secret was founded by a man. Businessman Roy Raymond wanted to buy his wife some lingerie, but was embarrassed when he went to the department store to look for some. He decided to create a store for women's underwear where men would feel comfortable shopping.
As Naomi Barr wrote in Slate in 2013, "Raymond imagined a Victorian boudoir, replete with dark wood, oriental rugs, and silk drapery. He chose the name 'Victoria' to evoke the propriety and respectability associated with the Victorian era; outwardly refined, Victoria’s 'secrets' were hidden beneath."
After Raymond sold the brand, with its catalog and six stores, to Les Wexner, the focus shifted. Wexner recognized a huge opportunity to market his brand directly to women, and thus the Victoria's Secret juggernaut was created. For decades, Victoria's Secret has been synonymous with men ogling models in sexy underwear and women hopelessly trying to fit themselves into those unattainable model bodies.
Jax's video has gotten more than 13 million views in less than a week and the comments are raving.
"Thank you! I have 2 teenage daughters who are struggling with eating disorders all bc of social media and mainstream media," wrote one parent.
"This is perfection. This song should be a commercial or PSA or something," wrote another commenter. Couldn't agree more.
"The inner 13 year old me needed this. This was the best," wrote another.
People keep asking when she's going to release the song, and she's said she hadn't thought that far ahead. You just never know when a hit is going to hit.
I know Victoria's Secret, and girl you wouldn't believe … she's an old man who lives in Ohio, making money off of girls like me.
It's the message we all need to hear, wrapped up in a boppin' summer anthem. Please, Jax, finish writing and recording this song and get it released ASAP. (You can follow Jax at @jaxwritessongs.)
Google is one of the most powerful tools humanity possesses and most of us have no idea how to use it.
Do you ever just stop and marvel at how much the internet has changed human existence? At no other time in history has the average person had access to so much knowledge. Yes, we use it for dumb things too, but anyone with an internet connection can learn anything they set their mind to, from languages to auto mechanics to music to rocket science. It's mind-blowing.
This unlimited access to information is amazing, but it can also be overwhelming. If I Google "rocket science," I get 190 million results in 0.7 seconds. If I actually had an interest in learning about rocket science—which I don't—I wouldn't even know where to begin.
I could narrow down those results with more specific search terms, of course. But that would barely be scratching the surface of Google's search abilities. As Chris Hladczuk wrote on Twitter, "If you use it right, Google is the most powerful tool in the world. But the truth is most people suck at it."
It's true. Many of us have no idea how to actually utilize Google effectively to find the information we want or need. I use Google all the time and thought I was pretty good at it, but after reading Hladczuk's thread of tips and researching more, I realized there are so many ways I could up my Google game to save myself some time and effort.
Here are 13 tips and tricks for better Googling that we can all use:
Google makes it easy to narrow down search results with pre-set filter categories that show up at the top of your search results. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it's easy to gloss over them if you don't know they're there. If you just want news stories or just want images for your search topic, you'd click "News" or "Images" at the top of the search results page.
To further filter, click "Tools" on the right. Depending on what other filters you're using you can sort by date (in News), type of document (in Books), duration or quality (in Videos), and so on. Just utilizing these built-in filtering tools will greatly enhance your Google search experience with very little effort.
Google's preset filters help you narrow down search results with one click.
Screenshot via Google.com
Let's say you want to research George Bush's presidency but you want the first Bush, not George W. Bush. You could Google "George H.W. Bush," but that's not generally what he was referred to prior to his son running for president.
Using the hyphen, or minus sign, before a word or phrase you don't want included in results will eliminate that word or phrase from the search. So Googling "George Bush -W." tells Google to pull up results for George Bush, but without "W." Voila! All senior Bush results.
Googling multiple words at once can give you a mixed bag of results. The search will include all of the words, but not necessarily in order. If you are looking for an exact phrase, let Google know that by putting it in quotation marks.
Let's say you wanted to see all of Upworthy's articles about dogs. Type in "dogs:upworthy.com" and Google will give you all of our pupworthy content. (Generally speaking, you should put in the .com or .org or whatever the extension is on the URL, but "dogs:upworthy" works, too.)
Do you swear you saw a printable PDF of dad jokes, but can't remember where you found it? A search for "dad jokes" gives you a gazillion results you'd have to wade through to find a PDF. But you can search just for PDFs by typing "bad dad jokes filetype:PDF" into your Google search bar.
Say you wanted to find a Spanish teacher in your area. Searching "local Spanish ~teacher" would also bring up search results for Spanish tutors, instructors and so on. (Google does some of this intuitively, but there may be instances when results are too honed in on one word.)
Want to know what percentage of Americans have been vaccinated for COVID-19? Want to know how many gorillas are left in the wild? A search for "* percent of Americans vaccinated for COVID" and "* gorillas left in the wild" will bring those exact numbers right to the top of your results.
Pull up a tip calculator with one click.
Screenshot via Google.com
Searching for "tip calculator" brings up a simple, handy tip calculator without having to click through to any website. Nifty.
And you can set a timer by typing "timer" and however many minutes you want into the search bar. The timer starts automatically and will beep when finished. (Just don't close that browser window.) You can also pull up a stopwatch with a simple "stopwatch" search.
All you have to do is copy and paste any tracking number into the Google search bar. No need to go to USPS or UPS or FedEx websites first. Just straight to Google.
Just like the tracking number, simply enter your flight number (e.g., DL 275) into the Google search bar. Easy peasy.
Sometimes Google is more intuitive to use than we might assume. Want to look up what "obfuscation" means? No need to search for an online dictionary. Just type "define obfuscation" into the search bar. (You don't even have to spell it right, as long as you're close.) Wondering what the weather's like where grandma lives? Search "weather Orlando" to get current conditions. Need to know if it's too late to contact that friend overseas? Search "time Barcelona" to get the current local time.
Finding photos that are free to use, either with or without attribution requirements, can be tedious. But it's easy to find Creative Commons License photos on Google if you know what to click.
Type in your search term for whatever images you want (say "snuggly kittens"), then click Images, then Tools, then Usage Rights, then Creative Commons Licenses.
(Quick reference: Images > Tools > Usage Rights > Creative Commons Licenses)
When you click on an image, you can click "License details" and it will tell you which Creative Commons license applies to the photo so you know how to attribute it.
If you want to try to track down where an image originated, you can search using an image itself, either using the image URL or uploading it to images.google.com. Just click on the camera icon and either paste the URL or upload the image, and the search results will show you all the places the image lives on the internet.
The folks behind the scenes at Google have a silly sense of humor, so you never quite know what you're going to get when you use it. You can also put "play pacman" into the search and actually play a mini Pac-Man game. Who knew?
Google is an incredibly useful tool in far more ways than most of us use it, and hopefully these tips will help you utilize it to its full potential. Happy searching and three cheers for digital literacy!
Great info, even better delivery.
Amazon delivery drivers don’t have the easiest job in the world. Sitting through traffic, working in extreme temperatures, hauling boxes … not exactly a fun time. So when a driver goes out of their way to be extra considerate—people notice.
One delivery driver has gone viral for the way she delivered a little bit of safety education, along with some lighthearted advice. The TikTok video of the encounter, which now has more than 4 million views, was shared by Jessica Huseman, who had only recently moved into her new house.
The clip shows the doorbell cam recording of the driver approaching the house. As the delivery driver makes it to the front door, she sings, ”Hello … I hope your Monday’s going well. You have no markers on your house that says what number you are.”
From there, the driver’s song quickly changes tune, going from funny jest to helpful PSA.
“And that is hard to find your house my dude, and it’s unsafe, honestly,” the driver continues, adding, “what if you needed medical assistance and the paramedics didn’t know your town well? Come on.”
@_jesshopehuse We just moved in and this happened today…she’s not wrong though. Guess I need to get some house numbers. #amazondelivery♬ original sound - Jessica Huseman
“Have a great day!” she says happily before walking off.Huseman added the caption: “We just moved in and this happened today... she’s not wrong though. Guess I need to get some house numbers.”
The driver’s observation was clearly on point. Several medical pros commented to back her up.
“As someone who works in EMS I can verify house numbers are necessary! BUT ALSO MAKE SURE THEY ARE EASILY VISIBLE FROM THE STREET AT NIGHT,” wrote one person.
Another replied, ”yes! Medic here, we’ve had to call dispatch and ask for them to get [the] caller back on the phone and get [the] description of [the] house because there [are] no numbers.”
Besides her information being vital, people were mostly in love with the driver’s friendly attitude. Here are just a few of the compliments:
“Honestly, give them a raise. That’s awesome vibes right there.”
“She’s a whole friken mood, I love her she gives me pink vibes.”
“I need to meet this Amazon driver!!!! I love her!!”
The delivery driver (named Kelsey) eventually saw her viral video and decided to do a follow-up, where she added other unsafe things she’s seen on the job—primarily unclear entrances and exits—along with an additional sweet message:
@queenofconsent#stitch with @_jesshopehuse ♬ original sound - The Queen K
“Crisis management and prevention education is essential and literally a part of my soul. So anytime I do go out and deliver packages … if I see something, I say something. Cause that’s how bystander intervention works. But keeping in mind that it’s more than that. It is about reminding each other that we are enough, and being there for one another.”
Whether it’s packages or something to smile about, Kelsey is a master of delivery.