STEM EDUCATION IN K-12
FOUNDATION OF AN INNOVATION ECONOMY
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) industries are generally recognized as the foundation of America’s innovation economy. However, studies show that the United States is failing to prepare its students for the challenges ahead, and the effects are particularly pronounced in STEM fields. According to one study, 78 percent of high-school graduates did not meet readiness benchmark levels for one or more entry-level college course in mathematics and science, and according to some rankings, U.S. high-school students rank 25th in the world in math and 17th in science. This Working Group will examine strategies for improving the quality of STEM education, erasing inequality in the educational system, linking classroom teaching to workplace demands, and increasing opportunities for teachers in STEM fields to access continuing education and up-to-date technology.
CLOSING THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP
Addressing the lack of awareness of and access to STEM education among female and minority students is essential to any comprehensive effort to improve STEM education.
Skills gained in prekindergarten and K–8 learning environments – including reading, writing, math, and teamwork – are critical building blocks for the complex STEM fields.
Interaction among students and professionals – through mentoring, internships, or classroom visits – has a significant impact on student success levels and future interest in STEM fields.
The breakneck pace of innovation in STEM fields makes access to continuing-education opportunities essential for K–12 teachers.