STEM Education Crucial for Global Youth - Education 2030 Research Project

At the Microsoft Philanthropies Enabling Opportunities summit, policy-makers, educators, researchers and non-profit organizations gathered in Singapore to discuss the challenges, opportunities and ideas required around building an ecosystem to bring the benefits of technology to their local communities. Christopher Clague, Senior Analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), shared key findings from EIU’s Education 2030 research project.

In terms of education, the developed and developing world are facing different types of demographic problems. Developed countries such as USA, UK, Japan and Germany face the problem of aging and graying societies. The older demographic draws more resources, leading to rising healthcare and pension costs and putting a strain on government budgets. As a result, public spending on education as a percentage of GDP is projected to fall across much of the developed world.

Education 2030

The STEM Education Challenge

New, robust partnerships between the public and private sectors are needed today to attract and educate the young scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians for tomorrow.A stem is the main trunk of a plant, and STEM — short for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics — is the main trunk of our economy. A plant that gets too little water will fail to grow. Unfortunately, that’s also what’s happening to STEM education in our country today. We’re simply failing to attract and educate a sufficient number of young scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians. Demand for these workers is growing fast, but our pool of talent isn’t.

The situation is especially perplexing, given that a career in STEM would seem to be highly attractive. Consider:

· Demand for STEM jobs is growing fast. Jobs across all occupations are forecast to increase by only 14 percent between 2010 and 2020. By contrast, jobs in biomedical engineering are expected to increase during that same period by 62 percent. In medical science, jobs are expected to grow during that period by 36 percent. And in systems software development, to grow by 32 percent.


SME Launches High School Membership Program to Build the Manufacturing Workforce Pipeline

"With an anticipated skills gap of 2 million jobs by 2025, the manufacturing industry needs to attract and inspire the next-generation workforce." SME, an organization that trains and develops the manufacturing workforce, has launched a high school membership program to educate the next generation on the value of manufacturing and encourage careers in the field. Manufacturing offers career opportunities for every education level ranging from skilled trades that require a high school diploma or GED to engineers, designers and programmers with bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as researchers and scientists with doctorates. There are currently more than 600,000 jobs available in manufacturing, with the expectation that number could grow to 2 million by 2025 because of an aging workforce and new technologies creating more jobs.

“Manufacturing needs to attract the next generation of talent,” said Christopher Wojcik, vice president of SME Membership. “SME is dedicated to educating students on the career opportunities in manufacturing; our high school student membership is a program to help the future workforce better understand the industry and ultimately fill the workforce pipeline.”


It's Time to Invest in STEM Education and Build a Nation of Makers

"Congress needs to pass the budget to support the next generation of innovators," says John King Jr., in an article published by U.S. News and World Report. From June 17 through 23, our nation celebrates the National Week of Making. This week recognizes that makers, builders and doers – of all ages and backgrounds – always have had a vital role in pushing our country to develop creative solutions to some of our most pressing challenges.

As President Barack Obama has noted, during this week, "We celebrate the tinkerers and dreamers whose talent and drive have brought new ideas to life, and we recommit to cultivating the next generation of problem solvers."


American Students Want More Hands-on, Real-World Experiences

The Amgen Foundation and Change the Equation (CTEq) today announced results of a survey conducted to better understand what motivates U.S. high school students to study science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The report, titled “Students on STEM: More Hands-on, Real-World Experiences,” shows that students want additional opportunities that will inspire them to explore careers in scientific fields, and teachers are uniquely positioned to stimulate students’ interest in STEM.

The survey found that large majorities of teenagers like science and understand its value, but common teaching methods, such as teaching straight from the textbook, do not bring the subject matter to life in the same way hands-on, real-life experiences do. Several results reveal an opportunity to better engage students in the classroom. For example:


The Manufacturing Institute and eduFACTOR Partner to Engage Teachers and Students with Cutting Edge Technology

The Manufacturing Institute, the non-profit affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers, is pleased to announce a new Dream It. Do It. collaboration with Edge Factor’s eduFACTOR. Dream It. Do It. is a national network that works to change the perception of the industry and engage next-generation workers to pursue manufacturing careers. eduFACTOR is a membership-based library of media and interactive resources used by educators to inspire youth.

With this new collaboration of two powerful networks, teachers will have the opportunity to access technology and career pathways videos, CNC and 3D printing projects, event kits, virtual field trips, interactive classroom and STEM activities, CTE training success videos, and other tools to help reach parents and students across the country.

ADVANCE CTE Recognizes Eleven Model Programs of Career Technical Education

Advance CTE's selection committee chose 11 programs for their track records of blending demanding academic work with work-based learning and internships created in partnership with business and community organizations. “CTE should prepare all students for success in both postsecondary education and careers, and these programs of study do exactly that,” said Kimberly Green, Advance CTE Executive Director. “The eleven award winners were chosen, in part, due to their dedication to ensuring access to and supporting success for all students. We hope these programs of study serve as a model for leaders across the country by demonstrating what high-quality CTE looks like and can offer to students and communitiesHere is the list of winners, along with the career cluster each one represents.


Transforming Education for All Learners through Career Technical Education

Putting Learner Success First: A Shared Vision for the Future of CTE is a call to action for leaders, policymakers, employers and practitioners across the nation to commit to creating a high-quality education system where all learners are prepared for a lifetime of future success in high-skill, in-demand careers. Eight organizations release a shared vision for this future of education and CTE. Putting Learner Success First is the result of the Future of CTE Summit, a Fall 2015 convening hosted by partner organizations that brought together national, state and local leaders representing K-12 and postsecondary education, workforce development, business and industry, and the philanthropic community. Together, participants developed a shared understanding of the current CTE landscape, and thought boldly and strategically about how CTE can strengthen and expand its contribution to the transformation of the educational enterprise, so that all learners are successful in the future.


Leveraging Federal Funds to Support STEM Education

The U.S. Department of Education issued a Dear Colleague Letter to states, school districts, schools and education partners on how to maximize federal funds to support and enhance innovative science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education for all students.

The letter serves as a resource for decreasing the equity and opportunity gaps for historically underserved students in STEM and gives examples of how federal funds—through formula grant programs in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act—can support efforts to improve instruction and student outcomes in STEM fields.


Career and Technical Education in High School - A Fordham University Study

Fordham’s latest study, by the University of Connecticut's Shaun M. Dougherty, uses data from Arkansas to explore whether students benefit from CTE coursework—and, more specifically, from focused sequences of CTE courses aligned to certain industries. The study also describes the current landscape, including which students are taking CTE courses, how many courses they’re taking, and which ones.

Key findings include: 

  • Students with greater exposure to CTE are more likely to graduate from high school, enroll in a two-year college, be employed, and earn higher wages.
  • CTE is not a path away from college: Students taking more CTE classes are just as likely to pursue a four-year degree as their peers.
  • Students who focus their CTE coursework are more likely to graduate high school by twenty-one percentage points compared to otherwise similar students (and they see a positive impact on other outcomes as well).
  • CTE provides the greatest boost to the kids who need it most—boys, and students from low-income families.

Due to many decades of neglect and stigma against old-school “vo-tech,” high-quality CTE is not a meaningful part of the high school experience of millions of American students. It’s time to change that.

Career and Technical Education in High School

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