The importance of STEM education
The United States has long been a global leader in innovation and entrepreneurship, with continued excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). However, recent reports by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) have highlighted a growing problem regarding a workforce skills gap in STEM endeavors. So what does this really mean?
If the United States is to maintain its global leadership and competitive position, it must make STEM a priority. STEM education creates the pipeline of future innovations, and innovation is key to driving the U.S.’s economic prosperity. With industries like advanced manufacturing, life sciences, clean energy and health care expanding at a rapid pace, STEM education is a critical element in ensuring students are prepared for the jobs of tomorrow.
The Obama-Administration has recognized the extent of the current STEM skills gap in the U.S., and accordingly has put in place the “Educate to Innovate” campaign which is designed to boost student engagement and achievement in math and science. With job growth in STEM field expected to outweigh qualified applicants in coming years, many U.S. states have initiated their own state STEM plans to work collaboratively with the goals of the national campaign.
“Developing a pipeline of STEM graduates is not only important for Massachusetts, it is critical to the success of our nation as a whole. With baby boomers retirements expected to deplete the science and technology workforce by 50% over the next decade, we are at risks of losing our leadership in technology and innovation. Eighty percent of jobs created in the next decade will require math and science skills. Creating this plan is a generational responsibility for the future of our children and the Commonwealth.”
Honorary Chair of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, Congressman Joe Kennedy III
The fields of science, technology, engineering and math are deeply intertwined in our everyday lives, covering everything from the mechanics and reasons behind daily functioning to the complexities of modern technologies. Through STEM education individuals are given the opportunity to access a wealth of knowledge and information which contributes towards their understanding of the world they live in.
As such, STEM education allows young minds to challenge their world, understand new concepts, make well-informed decisions and pursue new interests – effectively enabling the next generation of innovators.