People everywhere are realising that the careers of the future will depend more and more on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).
These are not just traditionally geeky jobs like rocket scientists – these are what are considered “regular” jobs, like sales reps and forestry technicians.
We need to *inspire* kids at young ages about STEM concepts.
Unfortunately, the evidence in Australia is that our relative performance against other nations is falling.
George Lucas, the man who created the Star Wars films as well as Indiana Jones and other things, is a man with a mission.
In 1991, he co-founded Edutopia, an organisation dedicated to improving innovation in schools. Currently, they are focused on engaging students with STEM, a successful approach to integrated studies that combines science, technology, engineering, and maths.
To that end, Edutopia produced this useful infographic, which we’ve shared here on the right. It neatly captures:
Why is STEM important (answer: many careers of the future will depends on mastery of STEM elements)
How is the USA performing (answer: badly)
What people can do (answer: get kids interested in STEM, early)
A full set of Edutopia’s resources for STEM are available here.
Why should you care?
Australian kids will be in the same jobs marketplace as US kids, given the increasingly global nature of the workplace. The opportunities in STEM apply equally here as they do in the USA.
The Chief Scientist of Australia, Professor Chubb, agrees – in September, he released a report detailing his recommendations for a strategic approach to science and its related fields, titled Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics: Australia’s Future.
This new strategy is partly a result of our own tumbling results. While the opportunities of STEM careers have grown dramatically over the last decade, PISA results from last year show that Australian high school students’ achievement in maths have slumped. We’re going the wrong way.
Ask your school principal about their strategy for STEM. If they don’t have one yet, they should get moving!