© 2013

Working Knowledge

STEM Essentials for the 21st Century


Table of contents

About this book


Working Knowledge: STEM Essentials for the 21st Century is designed  to inspire a wide range of readers from high school and undergraduate  students with an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and  Mathematics (STEM) to STEM teachers and those who wish to become  teachers. Written by renowned scientist and teacher Dr. Karl Hess of the University of Illinois at Urbana, a member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, the book presents a critical collection of timeless STEM concepts and connects them with contemporary research advances in addition to the needs of our daily lives. With an engaging and accessible style not requiring a formal background in STEM, Dr. Hess takes the reader on a journey from Euclidean Geometry and Cartesian Coordinates up through 21st Century scientific topics like the global positioning system, nanotechnology, and super-efficient alternative energy systems.

Working Knowledge: STEM Essentials for the 21st Century at once serves as an almanac on the fascinating physical, chemical, quantitative features of the natural world and built environment, as well as a need-to-know list of topics for students, teachers, and parents interested in STEM education.


Euclidian Geometry Global Positioning System Memory chips Nanostructures Nuclear Energy STEM Education Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Semiconductor Solar Energy Theory of relativity high school

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Electrical and Computer Engineering Physics Center for Advanced Study Beckman InstituteUniversity of IllinoisUrbanaUSA

About the authors

Karl Hess served as Professor of Electrical Engineering and physics at the University of Illinois, Urbana (UIUC) from 1980 to 2006, where his research centered around solid state electronics and physics. In recent years, Dr. Hess has become active in variety of efforts to promote and improve STEM education. He held a presidential appointment to the National Science Board, from 2006-2008, as well as a seat on the Hawaiian Innovation Council advising the Governor of Hawaii in matters of STEM Teaching Innovations from 2007-2009. Dr. Hess lives on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Bibliographic information