The Governor's Academy for Engineering Studies is an award-winning STEM specialty center that supports hands-on engineering education.
Customize A STEM Playlist: We'll Get You Started
You're a logical, technical, analytical type who loves solving a compelling problem. In a world that is a complex machine, you create, innovate and move things forward. What would we do without you and your love of STEM?
If you're a scientist or engineer (or aspire to be one), then why not assemble a custom STEM playlist as a reminder of your passion for science, technology, engineering and math? Here is a list of STEM songs to get you started.
1. "She Blinded Me With Science" by Thomas Dolby
When science and engineering are your passion, you try to break down even the impractical and mystical things like love, attraction, and relationships into factual, practical tidbits.
This 1982 song is about a mad scientist who falls in love with his laboratory assistant. Thomas Dolby is often considered a one-hit wonder, although this song is iconic 1980s.
Mmm ... but she blinded me with science
"She blinded me with science!"
And failed me in biology ... .
2. “Rocket Man,” Elton John
Written during the space race, this 1972 song is about an astronaut whose daily job is space travel. Space flight is his symbol for fame, and Elton John describes it as lonely and isolating:
And I think it's gonna be a long long time
'Til touch down brings me round again to find
I'm not the man they think I am at home
Oh no, no, no, I'm a rocket man
Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone ... .
3. "Weird Science" by Oingo Boingo
Written for a popular movie by the same name, this 1985 song was also used as a theme song for the television series. It's about an amateur scientist who uses plastic tubes, technology, electricity, and microchips to create the ideal woman:
Fantasy and microchips
Shooting from the hip
We're makin' weird science.
4. "Mr. Roboto" by STYX
There are both benefits and dehumanizing aspects of technology. Modern man has been transformed into a robot in this 1983 song, with "Domo arigato" meaning a sarcastic "Thank you very much." The android has a human heart but a computerized brain.
You're wondering who I am (secret secret I've got a secret)
Machine or mannequin (secret secret I've got a secret)
With parts made in Japan (secret secret I've got a secret)
I am the modern man.
5. "Safety Dance" by Men Without Hats
Every scientist and engineer has to value safety, right? After all, they work with chemicals that could burn, moving parts that could pinch (or worse), and electricity that could jolt them into oblivion. Safety first!
This catchy 1983 song is a fun song that repeatedly references The Safety Dance, or pogo dancing. It was a style of new wave dancing that was done by yourself instead of with a partner and was a precursor to moshing. Dancers kept their torso and arms stiff against their bodies as they jumped up and down in place like a pogo stick. Bouncers typically discouraged the practice because sometimes the dancers would accidentally bump into one another.
Eighty-four percent of manufacturing executives agree there is a talent shortage in US manufacturing, and they estimate that 6 out of 10 open skilled production positions are unfilled due to the shortage.
— Deloitte Consulting LLP and the Manufacturing Institute
6. "Electric Avenue" by Eddie Grant
Electric Avenue sounds like a the household electronics and appliances department of Home Depot. What a great place for technology nerds to hang out, right?
However, this 1982 song is about a location in the United Kingdom that had a high number of immigrants, unemployment and violence culminating in rioting.
7. "Electric Boogie" by Marcia Griffiths
Calling all electrical engineers and electricians. Here's your song! This 1982 hit is synonymous with the Electric Slide, a fun line dance for parties and proms. The song describes the social atmosphere as electric and irresistible.
8. "The Future's So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades" by Timbuk3
Imagine being a nuclear science student — one with good grades who hasn't graduated from college yet but has a great-paying job already lined up. Pick the right STEM major and you'll describe yourself as "heavenly blessed and worldly wise" with a future that's only getting better. This 1986 song perfectly reflects how in-demand and great paying science and engineering degrees can be.
9. "The Scientist" by Coldplay
The guy in this 2002 hit wants a do-er after his romantic relationship has fallen apart because he wasn't emotionally warm and expressive enough. An apology, the song emphasizes a desire to go back to the start:
I was just guessing at numbers and figures
Pulling your puzzles apart
Questions of science; science and progress
Do not speak as loud as my heart.
If you’re looking to make a lot of money right out of school, pay attention to your major: College graduates who focused on STEM fields will likely make the highest starting salaries this year.
— Money Magazine, 2016
10. "Video Killed the Radio Star" by Buggles
How appropriate that this was the first music video played on MTV in 1981. The 1979 song reflects the mixed emotions that many Americans had at the time regarding technological advances. As technology marched on, it changed the expression of creativity and mechanized the process:
Video killed the radio star
Video killed the radio star
In my mind and in my car
We can't rewind we've gone to far
Pictures came and broke your heart
Put the blame on VCR.
11. "Make a Circuit With Me" by The Polecats
A circuit is a circular path that is needed to get electricity flowing and doing something useful. This rockabilly song from 1981 geeks out on electricity, which the singer prefers to romance:
I'll be a diode, cathode, electrode
Overload, generator, oscillator
Make a circuit with me
Just plug in and go, go, go
I'll be your human dynamo.
12. "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons
Released in 2013, this is a post-apocalyptic song about waking up and doing something new. It contrasts danger and defeat with change of a new age.
Radioactivity refers to the loss of energy from the nucleus of an unstable atom. Improperly used, radioactive isotopes can be deadly. However, science has a variety of positive uses for it, too, including:
- establishing the ages of various objects
- as tracers
- killing harmful microorganisms in food, and
- diagnosis and treatment of various diseases.
13. "Walkin' On the Sun" by Smash Mouth
This was Smash Mouth's first major hit in 1997, an ode to the past during a time when society was becoming increasingly uptight. The song asks that aging hippies share their message of peace and love with their children. If they fail to do this, they might as well be "walking on the sun" — which any scientist knows is a sheer death wish, as the surface of the sun is 5,778 K (approximately 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit).
14. "The Flaming Lips" by Race for the Prize
This 1999 song is about two scientists with the laudatory goals of finding a cure for an illness, even if it kills them:
Two scientists are racing
For the good of all mankind
Both of them side-by-side
So determined ... .
15. "Science Is Real" by They Might Be Giants
This 2009 song is from a Grammy-nominated children's album, "Here Comes Science." The song herald's the mind-bending awesomeness of science -- more amazing than elves, unicorns and angels combined. Science is logical, practical and real:
A scientific theory
Isn't just a hunch or guess
It's more like a question
That's been put through a lot of tests.
Among the other science-loving songs from the album include: "Meet the Elements," "I Am a Paleontologist" and "Why Does the Sun Shine?"
Even More STEM Songs
|Song & Year Released||Artist||STEM lyrics|
16. History of Everything (2007)
Math, science, history, unravelling the mysteries, That all started with the big bang!
17. Maths Song (parody of "That's What Makes You Beautiful) (2011)
You're insecure, so half of four / Your old brains are not what they were before / Add two threes, it's fun for us / 'Cause we're young and we can still remember stuff.
18. Pocket Calculator (1981)
I am adding and subtracting / I'm controlling and composing / I'm the operator with my pocket calculator
19. Moving to Mars (2011)
They'll be tearing us apart / Maybe moving us to Mars / Past the satellites and stars / Maybe moving us to Mars
20. Stellar (2000)
Meet me in outer space / We could spend the night / Watch the earth come up
21. I Am Not Your Game Boy (2004)
Six double A batteries, and I'm good to go / Seven-hundred milliamps, I'm here to rock the show
22. Spaceman (1972)
I wanted to be a spaceman / I wanted to be it so bad / But now that I am a spaceman / I'd rather be back on the pad
23. Like A Surgeon (1985)
Weird Al Yankovich
I finally made it through med school / Somehow I made it through / I'm just an intern / I still make a mistake or two
24. Pi (2005)
Sweet and gentle sensitive man / With an obsessive nature and deep fascination for numbers / And a complete infatuation with the calculation of pi
25. I Think I'm A Clone Now (1988)
Weird Al Yankovich
What would people say if only they knew / That I was part of some geneticist's plan / Born to be a carbon copy man / There in a petri dish late one night
26. We Are All Made of Stars (2002)
People they come together / People they fall apart / No one can stop us now / 'Cause we are all made of stars
27. Take Me Ta Mars (1983)
The Flaming Lips
Take me please, take me to Mars
28. Supermassive Black Hole (2006)
You set my soul alight / Glaciers melting in the dead of night / And the superstars sucked into the super massive
29. Pancreas (2005)
Weird Al Yankovich
My spleen just doesn't matter / Don't really care about my bladder / But I don't leave home without my pancreas
30. Man On the Moon (1992)
If you believed they put a man on the moon / Man on the moon / If you believe there's nothing up his sleeve / Then nothing is cool
31. Virus Alert (2006)
Weird Al Yankovich
We wanna give you a warning / 'Cause I found out this morning / About a dangerous, insidious computer virus
32. Girl, You Have No Faith in Medicine (2003)
The White Stripes
Acetaminophen You see the medicine / Girl, you have no faith in medicine
33. Black Hole Sun (1994)
Crying out, you have all the anger / Blame it on yourself again, there's nothing wrong with it / You're a black hole
34. Science Genius Girl (2000)
i'm a science genius girl / I won the science fair
35. Fly Me To the Moon (1964)
Fly me to the moon / Let me play among the stars / Let me see what spring is like on A-Jupiter and Mars.
36. Walking On the Moon (1979)
Giant steps are what you take / Walking on the moon
37. A Glorious Dawn (2009)
John D. Boswell with Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking
Space is filled with a network of wormholes / You might emerge some when-else in space / Some where else in time
38. Space Oddity (1969)
For here Am I sitting in a tin can / Far above the world / Planet Earth is blue / And there's nothing I can do
39. Biology 2 (1971)
"Hey Lisa, they're having a big party down at the Allele Pool tonight!"
40. The Elements (1959)
There's antimony, arsenic, aluminum, selenium, And hydrogen and oxygen and nitrogen and rhenium ..." (Lists all known elements at the time the song was written.
41. Golgi Apparatus (1989)
I look into the microscope I see Golgi apparatus
42. Atomic (1979)
Oh your hair is beautiful / Oh, tonight, atomic
43. Electricity (2005)
And suddenly I'm flying / Flying like a bird / Like electricity / Electricity
44. It's All About the Pentiums (1999)
Weird Al Yankovich
Wanna be hackers? / Code crackers? / Slackers / Wastin' time with all the chatroom yakkers? / 9 to 5, chillin' at Hewlett Packard?
45. Space Truckin' (1972)
We had a lot of luck on Venus / We always had a ball on Mars / Meeting all the groovy people / We've rocked the Milky Way so far.
46. Jupiter Crash (1996)
Meanwhile millions of miles away in space / The incoming comet brushes Jupiter's face / And disappears away with barely a trace
47. Why Does the Sun Shine (1993)
They Might Be Giants
The sun is mass of incandescent gas, a gigantic nuclear furnace / Where hydrogen is built into helium at a temperature of millions of degrees
48. Science & Faith (2011)
You won't find faith or hope down a telescope / You won't find heart and soul in the stars / You can break everything down to chemicals But you can't explain a love like ours.
49. Galaxy Song (1983)
Just remember that you're standing on a planet that's evolving / And revolving at nine hundred miles an hour / That's orbiting at nineteen miles a second, so it's reckoned / A sun that is the source of all our power
50. Mammal (1992)
They Might Be Giants
So the warm blood flows / Through the large four-chambered heart / Maintaining the very high metabolism rate they have / Mammal, mammal, their names are called
51. White and Nerdy (2006)
Weird Al Yankovich
There's no killer app I haven't run / At Pascal, well, I'm number one / Do vector calculus just for fun
52. Einstein (2011)
Simple math, our love divided by the square root of pride / Multiply your lies, plus time / I'm going out of my mind
53. Neutron Dance (1986)
The Pointer Sisters
I'm just burning doin' the neutron dance
54. Stuck To You (1999)
It is not love that makes the stars shine / But the spontaneous combustion of super-heated and super-condensed gasses in the process known as fusion that creates new elements when the time is right
55. Gravity (2002)
And then I looked up at the sun and saw the sky / And the way that gravity pulls on you and I
56. Gravity (2009)
But you're neither friend nor foe / Though I can't seem to let you go / The one thing that I still know / Is that you're keeping me down / You're keeping me down, eh ooh
57. Gravity (2006)
Whoa, gravity is working against me / And gravity wants to bring me down
58. Speed of Sound (2005)
Look up, I look up at night / Planets are moving at the speed of light
59. Space Cowboy (1969)
Steve Miller Band
Put a smile on your face / As we walk with space / In the brave new world
60. Drops of Jupiter (2001)
Tell me, did you sail across the sun? / Did you make it through the Milky Way / To see the lights all faded / And that heaven is overrated
61. Pluto (2012)
You keep on insisting you’re different / You say you found another solar system, but listen / Before you buy a house and sell your spaceship / There’s something you should know
62. '39 (1975)
Don't you hear my call though you're many years away / Don't you hear me calling you
63. Portrait (He Knew) (1977)
He was in search of an answer / The nature of what we are / He was trying to do it a new way / He was bright as a star
63. Hundred Million Miles From Home (2017)
And I've got my hands on the wheel of my rocket mobile / And I'm a hundred million miles from home
64. Radio Silence (2017)
Clear blue skies above / And all I feel is love / In this dream / Sand, water/ The earth beneath my feet
65. Radio Ga Ga (1984)
You gave them all those old time stars / Through wars of worlds invaded by Mars / You made them laugh, you made them cry / You made us feel like we could fly (Radio)
66. Under Pressure (1981)
Pressure pushing down on me / Pressing down on you, no man ask for / Under pressure that burns a building down
67. Pressure (1982)
Pressure / You're just like everybody else / Pressure
What's In A Name? Locations With STEM Names
© 2016 Governor's Academy for Engineering Studies
Governor's Academy for Engineering Studies (author) from Virginia on August 03, 2020:
Travis F. - Thank you for the recommendation.
Travis F. on June 19, 2020:
Clarity by Zedd
Alan N. on August 20, 2019:
A couple more for you to consider:-
Super Collider (2013) Megadeth
Clones (We're All) (1980) Alice Cooper
Governor's Academy for Engineering Studies (author) from Virginia on May 16, 2019:
Geoff M. - Good one! Thanks for those recommendations!
Geoff M on May 09, 2019:
What? Neither top selling hit for "Pressure" made the list? "Under Pressure" by Billy Joel, or "Pressure" by Queen with David Bowie. Wow. How "depressing"! I'm so deflated to see this. :-)
Governor's Academy for Engineering Studies (author) from Virginia on April 10, 2019:
Brent Haggen - Thank you for the suggestion. I've added the song at #65.
Brent Haggen on April 06, 2019:
Queen Radio Ga-ga
Governor's Academy for Engineering Studies (author) from Virginia on July 28, 2017:
John - Thank you for these suggestions which have been added. The Styx songs are also being added to our Astronaut's Playlist: Songs About Stars, Planets and Space: https://spinditty.com/playlists/astronomy-stars-pl...
John on July 26, 2017:
Fantastic list, but there are two great and important songs missing! Both are from the 70s. One is called '39, a Queen song written by the guitarist Dr. Brian May. He is an astrophysicist, and the song is about time dilation (Einstein's General Theory of Relativity). It from a very well known album called A Night at the Opera. The second is a Kansas song called Portrait. It's a song about Einstein written by Kerry Livgren and Steve Walsh for the Point of Know Return album, another big-time album from the 70s. I think these two songs should be near the top of the list! Also, Styx just came out with a new album after all these years. It's called The Mission and it's filled with Mission to Mars type songs. Check out Radio Silence.
Governor's Academy for Engineering Studies (author) from Virginia on April 07, 2017:
Svetlana - The Academy thanks you ;-). How awesome that you're multi-talented in so many areas, including engineering! I like the "cool stuff maker" idea.
kallini2010 from Toronto, Canada on April 03, 2017:
Now, I took the time to look up who is behind that blue moon, profile and all. It sounds very official and I don't want to say intimidating, but non-inviting.
That's my view on why on your other side of the Hub Universe, there are on average 25 - 30 comments per hub and here are virtually none. It's hard to talk to the Academy, it's much easier to relate to a person with a friendly face.
I may laugh all I want, but my brain is suited for engineering, but heart isn't. What is unattractive about engineering that it does sound too technical and intimidating. And it is. I have a degree and I know what's involved - not everyone is suited for it and it's not a question of intelligence.
What I'd like to see is STEM students submerse in non-technical creativity. If someone says "Join us, it's fun" and there are no volunteers, I'd say mission failed. If someone does not even have to say much and you have people joining so that you cannot stop them - then we know - mission accomplished.
That is much harder than technical stuff and students need that challenge. In fact, to be successful we all have to be challenged.
To me even the word "engineer" sounds boring. Take the "engine" out of it and do something like "cool-stuff-maker" (sounds like "coffeemaker), but you get my idea.
All the best,
from a certified engineer (twice certified).
I certified them back.
Governor's Academy for Engineering Studies (author) from Virginia on April 03, 2017:
Svetlana - I think folks are commenting "on the inside." Thank you for being our lone commenter.
kallini2010 from Toronto, Canada on March 31, 2017:
No comments? Ha-ha-ha!
Let me put it on Facebook!!! This is hilarious.
Our tacit or unspoken agreements were that engineering was better left back at school - when we socialize we can talk about something else.
But I love that. No comments. Really? No comments.
Don't tell me that you have the "No Comments" playlist.