Unless you’ve been living in a cave or under a rock, I’m sure you’ve heard about the nationwide push for increased education in science, technology, engineering and math, otherwise known as STEM. But why? And why these four together?
STEM education combines the competencies and skills of all four disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and math). Students now have the opportunity to use technology with science; practice the engineering design cycle with computer programming and many other combinations they will use in the workplace and other real life applications. Blending science, technology, engineering and math increases math & science literacy, prepares students for the 21st century and truly enables the next generation of innovators. Instead of focusing on just one at a time as had been done in the past, combining them together does a much better job of creating critical thinkers, problem solvers and innovators. Innovation leads to new products, new solutions and new jobs that sustain our economy. Most jobs of the future will require a basic understanding of math and science. As a matter of fact, according to the U. S. Labor Department, the 10 fastest growing occupations from 2008-2018, and their median wages are:
- Biomedical engineers, $77,400
- Network systems and data communications analysts, $71,100
- Home health aides, $20,460
- Personal and home care aides, $19,180
- Financial examiners, $70,930
- Medical scientists, except epidemiologists, $72,590
- Physician assistants, $81,230
- Skin care specialists, $28,730
- Biochemists and biophysicists, $82,840
- Athletic trainers, $39,640
And all of these involve science, technology, engineering and/or math in some way. It’s so important that American schools increase STEM education to ensure we have the workforce available to fill these jobs and to create the pipeline of future innovators that will move this country forward.