STEM: Passport to Success

b-bunchSTEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) is more than just a K-12 curriculum. It is a passport to a lifetime of success. As we hear again and again, STEM literacy is a nonnegotiable for all in the 21st century economy, not just a needed tool for future rocket scientists.

In a recent study conducted by ERCA, Destination Imagination, National Girls Collaborative, and the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity, high school students nationwide responded on their perceptions of STEM education and how to make it more attractive and interesting to their peers.

The report noted that today’s high school students suggest:

1) Equity efforts can increase the STEM workforce and 2) Realizing that potential requires strategic efforts.

Attracting and retaining females in the STEM pipeline requires:

• Boosting STEM career confidence

• Increasing STEM career aspirations

Attracting and retaining racial/ethnic groups historically underrepresented in STEM calls for:

• Ensuring stronger academic foundations in STEM

• Addressing unique barriers

Despite the fact that students, regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender, begin from the same place – rating STEM as extremely or very relevant to their future careers – obstacles remain.

But there are solutions:

• Support creative learning in all STEM classrooms

• Address structural inequalities that contribute to an unequal STEM playing field

These students give the STEM education field a great deal to think about, and a great deal to act on. It’s definitely worth the read. And thanks to all of those students and educators who made the report possible.

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