Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – STEM - took center stage across the nation last week.
The week started with an incredible Solar Eclipse, a “path of totality”, and ended with Hurricane Harvey “totally devastating” our friends in South Texas. They are in our thoughts and prayers.
As technology professionals, we are always solving problems using these different disciplines. These recent events got us thinking if our youth would be inspired to take a greater interest in STEM.
So, just what is STEM? STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach. STEM integrates these related fields into a cohesive learning paradigm based on real-world applications rather than compartmentalizing them into separate subjects.
Why is STEM Education important for everyone? Think about all the lives that were saved in the gulf coast by the science and technology used by meteorologists. The ability to improve forecasting and provide more accurate advanced warnings helped with early warning and evacuation plans.
Technology advances (social media) have connected communities like never before. For example, as the 911 system was overwhelmed, people took to Twitter to communicate with first responders for rescue help. As a result, many lives were saved including an infant’s.
STEM education helps bridge the ethnic and gender gaps found in fields of math and science. Initiatives have been established to increase the roles of women and minorities in STEM-related fields.
Check out what Goldie Blocks is doing to help the cause!
According to the U.S. Department of Education, only 16 percent of high school students are interested in a STEM career and have proven a proficiency in mathematics.
Did you know that a STEMconnector.org report states that by 2018, 8.65 million workers will be needed in STEM-related jobs?
For instance, the manufacturing sector faces an alarmingly shortage of employees with the necessary job skills — nearly 600,000.
The field of cloud computing alone created 1.7 million jobs between 2011 and 2015, according to the report.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that by 2018, the bulk of STEM careers will be:
• Computing – 71 percent
• Traditional Engineering – 16 percent
• Physical sciences – 7 percent
• Life sciences – 4 percent
• Mathematics – 2 percent
STEM education is critical to help the United States remain a world leader. STEM education in school is important to spark an interest in pursuing a STEM career in students.
Teachers, Parents, and community leaders must encourage children to pursue STEM activities, increase awareness and interest, and provide STEM education programs and access.
At Modo Networks, we are surrounded daily with the fast-paced advances in technology and the positive impact it has on our customers and our employees’ growth.
If there is one thing we can all learn from these current events, it is that we need more young professionals in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The greatest innovators are yet to come and will no doubt make this world a better place.