STEM is the acronym for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. #STEM was a very important topic in 2014, as it affects every aspect of our lives. Careers in STEM fields are constantly growing, and successful professionals in these areas are essential to growth as a society. According to the Brookings Institute, STEM jobs make up 20% of all jobs in the U.S. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that STEM jobs will increase 13% from now until 2022, a higher rate than all other careers. Not only will there be a greater number of careers in STEM, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics statistics also shows that STEM workers earn almost double the average of all other workers.
To prepare for this influx of STEM careers, a movement called 100Kin10 was started in June 2011. 100kin10 is an initiative to train 100,000 STEM teachers to ensure the next generation of American students will be ready to take on the STEM workforce. “100Kin10 is a multi-sector network that responds to the national imperative to train and retain 100,000 excellent science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teachers by 2021.”In addition to this, the White House is increasing its investment in STEM education by 3.7% for 2015. With the $2.9 billion budget, President Obama hopes to not only better train more educators but also transform K-12 STEM education, improve STEM undergraduate degree programs, and increase STEM research efforts.
Although careers in STEM fields are becoming more prevalent, there is still a major shortage of women in STEM occupations. According to Million Women Mentors, even though women make up nearly half of the workforce in America, women hold less than 25% of all STEM jobs. 12% of female college undergraduates pursue a STEM related major, but only 3% will continue in a STEM related career after graduation. What can we do to change this?
In an article from Fast Company entitled “The Shortage of Women in STEM Explained,” the author explains that there are ways adults can encourage little girls before they are even toddlers. The toys children play with can affect them for the rest of their lives, and encouraging girls with problem solving and stimulating toys needs to be a priority. GoldieBlox was created by Debbie Sterling for this exact reason, to introduce girls to their potential in STEM at a young age. “We believe there are a million girls out there who are engineers. They just might not know it yet. We think GoldieBlox can show them the way.” Getting more girls and women into STEM is also being addressed by the White House. In 2009 President Obama established the White House Council on Women and Girls in order to “ensure that the needs of women and girls are taken into account in all programs, policies, and legislation.”
Fasteners, STEM, Technology