The Growing Interest in STEM

By Kim Vij

Tech Ed
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STEM is becoming a more and more prominent topic in the mainstream and is something that should be considered by all parents.  Have you noticed that some major companies are putting efforts behind STEM?

What is STEM

The topic of STEM seems to appear often in discussions about education in the recent news. Are you curious what STEM is?  STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education.

Major US companies are showing a growing interest in STEM. But why? One of the main reasons to focus on these areas is that the skills and knowledge in these subjects are essential for student success.  In addition,these fields will play a part in the real world, influencing a child’s potential future jobs.  There is growing concern that the students of today are not prepared for the jobs of tomorrow unless we put more focus and resources towards STEM education at an early age.

“The U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that jobs in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) will grow 17 percent by 2018—nearly double the growth for non-STEM fields. By 2018, the U.S. will have more than 1.2 million unfilled STEM jobs because there will not be enough qualified workers to fill them. STEM is where jobs are today and where the job growth will be in the future.” (Source Forbes)

The White House Focus on STEM

To address this concern President Obama helped launch Change the Equation, a non-profit dedicated to improving the quality of STEM education in the United States.  Change the Equation works at the intersection of business and education to ensure that all students are STEM literate by collaborating with schools, communities, and states to adopt and implement excellent STEM policies and programs. Part of the focus is to empower teachers and parents with STEM resources. STEM Integration in K-12 Education shares the latest National Research Council.

Major Companies Focus on STEM

STEM is growing and it’s important for some major companies.  The White House and The Department of Education are supporting the need to emphasize STEM for students and asking for companies to do the same.  Clearly the research shows that the demand for STEM is high, which is why companies like Google, Nascar, Chevron and more are creating programs for teachers and parents to help support students. Companies want to help to prepare future employees with the knowledge and skillset they will require in the future roles our children will play in their companies.

Here are examples of STEM programs that some companies have developed.

  • Google is teaming up with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to bring a program that teaches computer science to more elementary and middle-school students across the country.
  • Nascar has decided to reach out to our mathematically ill-educated youth, in order to lift them up onto the world’s counting podium. Their program is called Acceleration Nation
  • Chevron’s backing of various STEM programs around the world comes from over 100 years of early workforce development commitment. They are a supporter of
  • Some additional companies supporting STEM include Dow, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, AT&T, Texas Instruments, Shell and more

Do you know of any other companies that are investing in STEM programs?

What do STEM programs mean as a Parent

As a parent, knowing that major companies are investing in STEM for my child, it’s clear that we need to be proactive for our children to provide them with these opportunities at school and outside of school to help prepare them for future careers.  Let’s ignite their interest at an early age and give the right opportunities for them to build on.