Economic future more secure when more students care about STEM

Lolly BowlerNews

What is the purpose of STEM?

According to the U.S. Department of Education’s estimation of the projected percentage increases in STEM jobs through 2020, innovative careers such as software development, medical science, and computer systems analysis will increase exponentially. The biomedical engineering field, for example, will see an increase of 62 percent. All occupations are projected to increase just by 14 percent. The amount of American students who pursue expertise in STEM career fields has risen since the Obama Administration’s initial push for STEM-based education. Back then, only 16 percent of high school graduates were interested in pursuing a STEM career. Now, according to ACT, nearly half of the 2.1 million graduates who took the ACT test in 2016 expressed interest in STEM careers.

What does it mean to be a “STEM/STEAM school?”

STEM schools are schools that emphasize collaborative, project-based learning. While all schools teach STEM subjects, designated STEM schools are focused entirely on STEM and each student is expected to master these subjects. In Utah, there are standards and benchmarks that determine whether or not an elementary or secondary school is officially designated as a STEM specialty school. The Utah State of Office of Education collaborates with the STEM Action Center each year to monitor and introduce schools into the STEM school designation program.

Crimson View Elementary, Hurricane Elementary, and Sunset Elementary are designated as official STEM schools in Washington County.

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