California high school graduates may soon be able to show off their academic success in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, with a new seal on their diploma. A bill creating the State Seal of STEM, Assembly Bill 28, passed the state Legislature Tuesday and now heads to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk. He has until Oct. 13 to sign or veto the bill.
Rapid changes in the nature of work, education, technology, workforce demographics, and international competition have led the National Science Board (NSB, Board) to conclude that our competitiveness, security, and research enterprise require this critical, but often overlooked segment of our STEM-capable workforce. Adding to the near-term urgency, a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report predicts a shortfall of nearly 3.4 million skilled technical workers by 2022.1
The National Science Board released a report Monday calling for, among other things, a cultural re-evaluation of America's "skilled technical workforce" -- people who use science and technology skills in their jobs, but don't possess a bachelor's degree. While demand for professions like electricians, welders and autoworkers is projected to rapidly increase, the supply of labor for these jobs is estimated to fall short by nearly 3.4 million workers by 2022.
Engineers and scientists routinely push society forward with innovations that contribute to economic growth and make our lives safer, healthier, and more sustainable. Today, the STEM sector is experiencing rapid growth. But as our world faces increasingly complex issues like climate change, cybersecurity, and election interference, the lack of gender and racial diversity within science, technology, engineering and math fields threatens to stall progress toward solutions.
There’s no question that STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) plays a critical role in any child’s education. And one of the easiest and most effective ways to expose kids to and get them interested in STEM is through reading.
When Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled a mockup of Blue Origin’s Blue Moon lunar lander in May, he also unveiled a more down-to-earth enterprise: the Club for the Future, a nonprofit effort aimed at promoting science education through fun space-oriented projects. Its first project? A campaign to solicit postcards that would be flown into space aboard Blue Origin’s suborbital New Shepard rocket, and then sent back to the kids who submitted them.
Men and women feel differently about this issue. Roughly four in 10 (42%) women believe that offering female-only opportunities is not a violation of gender discrimination laws like Title IX. Another 34 percent of women believe that it is a violation. Responses from men show almost the exact inverse: 44 percent believe that offering female-only educational opportunities is indeed a violation of Title IX; 34 percent disagree.
Robinson has leaned in to science education after retiring from the National Institutes of Health, trading her laboratory for elementary school classrooms and forgoing a full retirement. She participates in the American Association for the Advancement of Science's STEM Volunteer Program, which pairs scientists and engineers with elementary, middle, and high school teachers at nine school districts in the Washington, D.C., area, including those in three Virginia counties and three cities, and two in Maryland.
“Our challenges really come back to the issues of workforce development,” he said during a recent interview with the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST). “Public education is the No. 1 challenging issue we see here in Oklahoma." Building a deeper pool of young Oklahomans equipped with STEM skills is critical to sustainability of the state’s aerospace industry, he said.
The National Science Foundation recently awarded Bentley University a five-year, $1.4 million grant to develop, implement and evaluate curricula for college students that combine STEM and business, with an eye toward unraveling the “wicked” web of sustainability wrought by poverty, hunger, gender equality, climate change, energy use and other complex global issues.