The demand for skilled workers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) is closely linked to global competitiveness. How can counselors (and those advising students) inspire students to solve problems while promoting STEM careers? There is a lack of gender and ethnic diversity of students entering STEM educational programs and career fields present additional challenges. Using creativity and innovation to address these challenges is critical to meeting this demand of skilled workers. Not enough young people are being educating or inspired about interest in STEM. “The education in American junior high schools in particular, seems to be a black hole that is sapping the interest of young people, particularly young women, when it comes to the sciences”. (Friedman, 2005, p.351)
“In the 21st century, scientific and technological innovations have become increasingly important as we face the benefits and challenges of both globalization and a knowledge-based economy. To succeed in this new information-based and highly technological society, students need to develop their capabilities in STEM to levels much beyond what was considered acceptable in the past.” (National Science Foundation) Technology is pervasive in almost every aspect of daily life, and as the workplace changes, STEM knowledge and skills grow in importance for a variety of workers (not just for mathematicians and scientists). Stereotypes about women’s abilities and their role in the family often keep women from pursuing math and science careers.
Whether you’re a student, counselor, educator, or parent, you can get involved. You’re taking the first step by visiting this site. If you’re a student, push your school to teach STEM classes. Counselors, it’s your job to promote students to peruse a STEM. Educators, you should be teaching students the relevance of STEM in everyday life, and to you parents, push your children to do well in STEM.
For more information, please review the article, “Preparing Students for STEM Careers (9-10): http://stemcareer.com/stemwpfolder/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Preparing-Students-for-STEM-Careers-9-2-10.pdf “On December 27, 2010, President Obama signed Executive Order (E.O.) 13562 establishing the Pathways Programs, to provide clear paths to Federal employment for students and recent graduates. On May, 11, 2012, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued the final regulations implementing the Pathways Programs, in the Federal Register/Vol. 77, No. 92/ May 11, 2012. The Pathways Programs consists of three components which are the Internship Program, the Recent Graduates Program (RGP), and the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program”. For additional information on the NASA Pathways Programs, please visit the Pathways Landing Page.
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