More and more, we are seeing job forecasts which project steady, double digit growth in STEM industries and fields, spurring greater discussion about when and how to capture the interest of kids early enough so that they can develop the skills and dedication needed to make them well suited for those careers. In March 2014, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics released its latest report on the topic: STEM 101, Intro to Tomorrow's Jobs.
One of the more significant approaches towards achieving reach and appeal to more students has been to increase access to technology and internet, giving greater availability to a wider variety of learning tools. Among the programs designed to assist with this is ConnectED, rolled out in 2013. This intiative aims to both increase the presence of wireless internet in schools and offer students devices to utilize the internet. For educators, it includes further educational opportunities and software to deepen the teaching tool kit.
Another approach being developed and tried is the P-TECH school approach, which we have talked about on this blog before: Innovative Six-Year High Schools Emphasize STEM. Originating in New York, it is now being rolled out in Chicago as well. Similar to P-TECH is the Career and Technical Education (CTE) program, which has similar goals as the P-TECH model. CTE also aims to prvide kids with a rigorous academic curriculum alongside practical STEM training. It seems most closely akin to trade and technical school education. Both CTE and P-TECH will enable more young people to be able to enter the STEM workforce with a stronger background.
Read more in USA Today: Making STEM a Part of Everyday Life