STEM jobs are projected to grow 4% faster than the national average according to Economic Modeling Specialists International. However, millions of STEM jobs went unfilled as 2018 ended. The White House releases a STEM education plan every five years that recognizes the need for STEM development early in any student’s academic journey, “CHARTING A COURSE FOR SUCCESS: AMERICA’S STRATEGY FOR STEM EDUCATION.” The most recent report that came out this past December is especially invested in motivating future STEM innovators, recognizing that other countries are outpacing the United States in STEM careers and expertise.
Three major players developed the 48-page plan. The National Science and Technology Council, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Committee on STEM education lent their expertise to the document, highlighting three major goals for the nation’s STEM education:
- Goal 1: Build Strong Foundations for STEM Literacy;
- Goal 2: Increase Diversity and Inclusion Through Broader Access to STEM; and
- Goal 3: Prepare the STEM Workforce for the Future.
Notice anything familiar about those goals? They just so happen to be at the core of the Nature’s Academy mission statement! Our STEM Literacy Project began in 2009 to involve underserved and underprivileged youth in outdoor STEM explorations at no cost to their families or schools. The report acknowledges that the arts and humanities are integral parts of STEM and this interdisciplinary learning is at the heart of Nature’s Academy programs.
While preparing the STEM workforce for the future is a major goal, the document recognizes that not every American will have a career in STEM. However, the councils and offices that wrote the document acknowledge that STEM is vital to train individuals in computational thinking, problem-solving skills.
The report includes a strategy for how federal agencies should plan, coordinate, and scale up their STEM programs over the next five years and includes recommendations that STEM stakeholders in states and districts nationwide can follow and emulate. Read the report here, and learn how our government is motivated to support future leaders in STEM!