There is an urgent and pervasive need for increased human pipeline in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) in post-secondary education and technical careers.
The National Academies Reports, “Rising Above the Gathering Storm” states, throughout the twentieth century, our prosperity as a global superpower was hugely reliant on our thriving STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) industries. Now, we’re in a new era, and fewer and fewer students are pursuing futures in STEM.
Almost a third of US manufacturing companies say they’re suffering from some level of skills shortages. All the while the industry is booming more than ever, with all of the top ten best paid graduate jobs falling within engineering, and jobs requiring mathematics increasing four times more than the national average. Only 18% of high school seniors are rated proficient in science, and only 6% go on to study STEM subjects at college. We’re being overtaken by other nations, like China, whose STEM workforce is growing rather than declining. We need to fill this chasm and turn bright young people onto STEM before we get left behind.
How can the US be better prepared to prosper and compete in the twenty first century? The answer is simple: We must engage our young people with STEM at school. We want to see materials science taught at high schools. We want high school teachers to be better equipped to inspire their students. We want to see students’ passions for STEM beginning at an even earlier age.