Creating the next great technology innovations is crucial to the advancement of our society and the American economy. Unfortunately, the American workforce is crippled by a lack of experts in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), which is what we call the STEM skills gap. Since this week is National Engineers Week, we’re doing a three-part blog series on STEM-related topics. In part one, we examined the fastest-growing STEM jobs for 2015. In part two, we looked at the state of STEM in education and the workforce. In part three (this post), we’ll explore a program that helps inspire middle schoolers to become interested in STEM disciplines through exposure to actual STEM professionals.
According to research done by the DIGITS project in Massachusetts, if you ask a middle- schooler what kinds of jobs use Math and Science, the most common answers are Math Teacher, Banker, or Cashier. But, after they’ve had a visit from a STEM professional through their program, the kids know about Programmers, Medical Technicians, Engineers, Architects and many other careers, and they are much more likely to be interested in studying more advanced topics in Math and Science.
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