Applying STEM at the FBI
Hear in this video how professionals in the FBI's Laboratory and Cyber Division apply their STEM skills every day.
Eugene, Supervisory Physical Scientist, FBI Laboratory Division: STEM stands for Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics. What it means for us in the research here at the FBI Laboratory is to use science to answer questions that are relevant to forensic investigations.
Joseph, Forensic Examiner, FBI Laboratory Division: STEM helps the FBI mission because, especially at the laboratory division, it kind of is the mission. You know science and the application of science to law is what the laboratory division does. It takes a wide background of disciplines to answer questions that investigators may have about evidence.
Michael, Supervisory Special Agent, FBI Cyber Division: Here in Cyber Division, we specifically work on cases that involve some of the top hackers and top cyber criminals worldwide, so STEM skills are vital. They’re vital in understanding computer programming and networking, how systems work, and they're vital and actually being able to track down computer hackers and stop hacking attacks.
Amber, Supervisory Biologist, FBI Laboratory Division: It's our job to protect American people and the way that we do that through the laboratory is by developing new techniques and new technologies that are going to be used for not just what's going on today, but what's going to be coming tomorrow.
Joseph: So STEM is critical to analyzing evidence here at the Laboratory Division. Every case that we get we're applying principles and concepts that are specifically related to science and technology.
Eugene: STEM factors into investigative criminal and intelligence casework by helping those investigators identify who is present, what they might have done, where they might have gone, what sequence of events might have taken place. Science answers those questions because we don't always have information from witnesses or surveillance. All we have are the physical traces left of an individual's presence after they've left the scene.
Amber: I would say anyone who is interested in a career at the FBI and has a hard science background should consider going into the FBI. We have a lot of fields here not just at the laboratory, but across the FBI that need those science backgrounds and need the people who have that infrastructure.
Michael: We're looking for a lot of computer sciences. We're looking for engineers. We're also always looking for agents who have STEM-related skills and STEM-related backgrounds to become special agents also.
Eugene: The type of people that are attracted to STEM disciplines are exactly the people that we want to hire and recruit at the FBI as agents, as analysts, as laboratory examiners, and as research scientists, because they've got the experience and training in science to appreciate what science can do.
Joseph: But it takes a wide variety and a diverse background of people to fill all the positions here at the FBI and so it's not one field or discipline and it's not one background specifically and takes all of us working together to answer the mission.
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