Unless you’ve been living under a rock, chances are you’ve heard about the skills gap impacting industrial companies and the push for more STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) programs to close the gap.
But it’s one thing to recommend more STEM programs — it’s another thing to actually bring them to life in the classroom.
While there are always challenges when it comes to the adoption of new curricula, it’s clear that around the country, leaders are putting their money where their mouths are.
Take a look at some programs around the country that are opening children’s minds to STEM subjects:
Northeast STEM Program
Here in New York, the YMCA has committed to helping underserved youth learn the basics of STEM subjects to combat the challenges of overcrowded schools that lack proper funding.
To do this, the New York Y brings in STEM speakers as role models who discuss their own challenging, successful careers in STEM. The Y also runs after school programs that supplement the students’ education with additional subjects and materials that they might not have access to in school.
Southeast STEM Program
Down south, Florida Governor Rick Scott has called for a $1 million STEM Summer Residency Program for teachers. The program aims to introduce teachers to more technical concepts by bringing them into industrial facilities for hands-on learning. Think of it as a summer school for teachers — but one they actually want to attend!
Once their training is finished, they’ll bring that knowledge back to their students. Fifty-two companies have offered to host the teachers who will learn engineering concepts from participants such as Southwest Engineering & Design and Duke Energy and manufacturing processes from Shaw Development and Northrop Grumman, among others.
West Coast and Southwest STEM Program
Mobile Ed Productions hosts a wide range of educational assembly programs for schools throughout the West Coast, Southwest, and Texas. In addition to various history programs, the group offers a wide range of programs related to science and math.
One offering, STEAM Museum, turns a school gym into a veritable museum with workstations that include hands-on activities for students. The group also has a program devoted to Women in History — which can further inspire young girls to pursue more technical careers.
Midwest STEM Program
In the Midwest, Iowa wins hands-down in the STEM arena thanks to its Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, which aims to provide all Iowans with a leg-up in STEM. The Council’s website includes resources for teachers, parents, and students on where to find the right educational opportunities as well as simple lessons that can be taught at home or in class.
The group also holds a number of events to increase exposure, including STEM Day at the Iowa State Fair, the Iowa STEM Summit, and STEM Day at the Capitol.
National and Local STEM Programs
Of course, this is just a sampling of the countless STEM-related organizations and programs throughout the country. There are countless schools and companies that are investing in STEM education through classroom projects and facility open houses.
And with Engineers Week right around the corner (February 21-27), now’s the perfect time to look for programs near you, or think of ways to promote STEM education on your own. It can be as simple as gifting your children with challenging engineering toys or as involved as hosting an educational assembly at a nearby school. Either way, you’ll be helping the next generation get started on a career trajectory that will only continue to grow.
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