A message that has been popping up with increasing frequency in the mainstream media recently is that the future of our country depends in large part on our success at training the next generation of STEM workers. Yet all too often, an ominous warning accompanies that message: American students are falling behind in STEM subjects, and at this rate we the U.S. soon will lose its competitive edge in the global economy.
What will it take to ensure a successful transition into the new economy? Addressing K-12 STEM education is imperative. Everything from the curriculum to the physical environment of the classroom could be adapted to facilitate the effective delivery of STEM subjects for maximum impact on our students — our future. According to the “Getting Smarter” blog, “Instead of teaching technology or engineering with a chalkboard, students will learn with interactive smart boards, digital devices like iPads, blueprint and drafting software, and tools that are being used in the real world on actual work sites.” Furthermore, the built environment will feature sustainable features like solar roofs and rainwater harvesting capabilities, providing students with concrete examples of how advances in technology can help solve real-life challenges.