ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The demand for professionals in STEM is increasing after years of facing unpredictability and medical advances.

“Health care and medicine and knowing about the world around us is going to be essential, look how the world was crippled by a virus,” assistant professor of biology of Robert Wesleyan University Terri Thayer said.

According to the National Library of Medicine, the U.S. population grows by nearly 25 million people each decade, resulting in a higher demand for professionals within the STEM and nursing fields.

“Nurses are needed now more than ever,” senior nursing student Frank Fullone said. “We really need the other nurses into the field to help support those that are already in the field and help decrease their patient load.”

Due to the alarming need, Roberts Wesleyan University is introducing STEM and Nursing Discovery Day.

“Through education, we can change lives,” Thayer said. “We can bring resources to people who don’t have it. We can bring care to people who don’t have it.”

High school students gain exposure and explore career paths through their interactive workshops and hands-on learning, discovering the roles of clinical researchers, pharmaceutical scientists, nurses, and other field areas.

“With this patient, we can actually check all of their vitals and we can access their lung sounds and heart sounds,” Fullone said. “Have her take a deep breath. And you’re going to want to listen to the apex of the heart for one minute.”

It is encouraging students to learn real-world applications and the importance of the impact they have on the community.

“It’s because of scientists that we got a vaccine out, and it’s because of the health care givers, the nurses, doctors who stayed and showed up, and what heroes they can actually be and are,” Thayer said.