Xavier University has received $500,000 from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to lead a six-school effort to devise a plan to get more members of minority groups interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics...
Can STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education be a cornerstone of a thriving economy? Is the ability to produce a gifted workforce rooted in a strong foundation of critical thinking skills, problem solving and collaborative teams a key to future success not only in Region 2000, but in the nation as a whole? The more and more I think about it, the answer is … yes!
By 2018, STEM jobs are expected to grow 17 percent, whereas other job growth areas are projected to trail at half that amount. One million job openings in STEM fields will occur, yet only 16 percent of college graduates have studied in STEM-related fields, despite the fact that 80 percent of jobs will require a technical skill in the next decade. These jobs average a 26 percent higher salary than in non-STEM-related fields.
These numbers illustrate the brewing of a “perfect storm” in technology-based industries. An insufficient rate of STEM graduates, combined with an aging workforce quickly approaching retirement, has the alarm bells sounding. That alarm is ringing right here in Region 2000. I hear these concerns every day from companies large and small, and there is a common theme to all of them. Companies cannot find local, qualified, candidates and struggle to find diversity in candidates within STEM fields.
When I hear these comments, I see a tragedy. The Lynchburg unemployment rate current sits at 5.6 percent, although it is lower than the national average of 7.1 percent (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Stats). Unemployment affects every aspect of our economy, from business success and growth; to citizen spending power and taxation, which impacts government services and public education.
So where is the root of this workforce dilemma? How do we prepare for a future filled with solutions, promise and hope?
Bemis Company is making an impact in the communities where its employees live and work. Through a $2.1 million commitment over a three-year period, Bemis is supporting over 100 high school Project Lead The Way programs. The partnership between Bemis and PLTW continues the expansion of the STEM pipeline and training of our nation's future workforce.
Ileane Smith's insight:
PLTW - Project Lead the Way is a great initiative for getting kids (and adults) involved in STEM.
Next year, 200 elementary and middle school students from Indian Prairie District 204 and other west suburban school districts will work in labs designed by their teachers and staff at Aurora University, along with scientists and business people...
Eagle hopes the school's curriculum and the school itself will be copied across the state and even the nation.
How is it that among all the doom and gloom of the student debt crisis and skyrocketing tuitions, college has never been a better investment?
Ileane Smith's insight:
I've followed statistics for engineeing salaries for over 5 years. Petroleum engineers consistently come out on top. No surprise there, but I also find it interesting that not every University has a degree program in this field.
"The statistics surrounding STEM education and jobs in the US are rather staggering to me. The latest that I’ve read indicate that US students are still trailing WAY behind other nations in Science and Math education (US ranks 47th in Math and Science education quality, and 78% of high school graduates don’t meet the standard levels for at least one entry level STEM class). To top it off, there’s a pretty strong gender divide in the STEM subjects: Many fewer girls are interested in even studying these subjects, and they don’t feel at all confident about their skills."
ASTM International has announced the recipients of the Society’s 2013 Graduate Scholarship: Bernardo Castellanos, a Ph.D. candidate in civil engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va., and Michael Hirsch, a Ph.D. candidate in mechanical engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Ga.
Ileane Smith's insight:
I'm so pleased with this announcement and ASTM's involvement in the advancement of STEM
New York Daily News Harlem DNA Lab gives school kids a dose of science during the summer months New York Daily News At the Harlem DNA Lab, about a dozen students turned a graphic arts classroom into a first-rate science laboratory to extract DNA...
STEM Engineering for Kids program comes to Cobb - Cobb County children ages 4 to 14 soon will have exposure to industries that Forbes magazine considers to be among the most promising for college students.
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