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Necessary Growth: An Exploration Of The Blossoming Need For Stem Education

1912 words - 8 pages

Today, countries and their education systems are in a mad race to keep up with the world’s technological advances. Unfortunately for the residents of the United States, one of the country’s most debilitating problems is that it is falling behind is the lack of STEM (Science, Technology, Math and Engineering) Education directed towards all students, both male and female, in its school systems. Attempts to remedy this are currently in progress, but the nation has fallen drastically behind other global powers concerning its STEM- literate workforce. This is a result of educational failures, particularly the failure of education opportunities to bridge the gender gap. Improving the diversity and knowledge of the technological workforce is the only way to return America to a position of technological prowess. Creating an environment that disregards gender and other “traditional” points of discrimination will allow females to expand into these traditionally male-dominated fields without facing undue bias. This means that efforts to offer additional, and encourage pre-existing, STEM-related educational opportunities are of critical importance. An improvement in the technological prowess of the United States and gender-related social dynamics of can only come with a reform of the education system to meet the needs of today.
Recently, Americans are no longer enjoying the excellence and distinction in STEM fields that they once held. This is due to an education system which does not prepare students for activity in key fields. In a set of shocking statistics from the National Math and Science Initiative it is revealed that United States students are going through school unprepared and graduating in much fewer numbers than the current climate necessitates. In the global community, however, this problem is not shared by most other developed nations, whose STEM-literate workforces continue to grow in size and skill. Of the American high school class of 2013, 69% of the graduates were not ready for college level science, and 54% were not prepared for college level math. Of those students who took 2013 AP tests in STEM disciplines, 72% did not earn a qualifying score on the exam (Join the Movement). This is a significant majority of students who are graduating ill-prepared for careers in essential fields. If students continue graduating with a consistent level of STEM- literacy, the glut of efficient workers will continue to grow as STEM job opportunities continue to develop. In fact, as a result of this vacuum in education there will be almost 24 million unoccupied American jobs by 2020— unoccupied because STEM education is not matching the job market’s expansion. As a result, high-skilled jobs will continue to be outsourced to more prepared nations, and the remaining jobs will find themselves filled by imported talent “using H-B1 visas to keep the tech-based economy operating (Gordon).” This serious issue is evident in the statistics, the numbers, because...

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