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Stem Education In The United States

2080 words - 8 pages

Science education has been a controversial topic among employers and schools for years. Employers are requesting more STEM graduates yet the schools are unable to keep up with the rising demand. Unemployment rates continue to go up while positions in the science, technology, and engineering fields have remained open and unfulfilled. STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education is vital to the position of the United States in the world standings in STEM research and design. Currently 3 of the 5 top positions in STEM research are held by Asian countries and sadly the United States doesn’t even fall in the top 10 for the list. There was once a time when the United States led the world in STEM research, but times have changed and now the United States is trailing many other countries in scientific innovation. Many U.S. citizens are unaware of the current state of the STEM education system and they often brag about statuses that the United States no longer hold. Educators and companies are teaming up to increase STEM interest in school-aged children and adolescents. It is their hope that their efforts will increase the amount of high school graduates entering degree seeking programs in the STEM fields. Some efforts are outlined in this paper along with their successes and failures.
The demand for STEM graduates is staggering, but with only six percent (AUVIS Foundation) of high school graduates entering and completing bachelor degrees in the STEM fields, the demand is not being met. The amount of positions opening up in STEM fields has been increasing quickly since 1982 but the United States continues to graduate the same number of STEM bachelor degrees each year with far less Masters and PhDs. Currently the U.S. is ranked 27 out of 29 for the rate of STEM bachelor’s degrees awarded in developed countries. (AUVIS Foundation) Research in STEM fields is responsible for innovations like self-parking cars and computer driven lasers for surgeries. If we hope to continue in the direction that we are going, it is imperative that we increase interest in STEM fields. The best way to increase the amount of STEM graduates is to increase STEM interest in school aged children. Some states have more successfully integrated STEM into their education system through the introduction of magnet schools and other specialized programs. These schools have helped increase interest in STEM education by exposing students very specific components of the fields. Some ways that they achieve this is by introducing specialized courses like aquatic science and robotics. Robotics is one of the most commonly introduced classes in the 6th – 12th grades and is responsible for a large increase in STEM interest. (Waters) Students report that their favorite part of robotics is the hands-on nature of the class. This teaching method has since been applied to other non-robotics classes resulting in higher class participation and attentiveness. AUVIS foundation helps...

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