STEM Education: Planting The Seeds For Tomorrow's Tech Leaders (Today)
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields depend on highly skilled workers that are severely lacking in today's workforce. STEM graduates are the folks we at Rackspace depend on to keep us on the leading
edge of innovation. The shortage has prompted a nationwide movement to accelerate and enhance STEM education to fill the current gap and stock the pipeline for the future.
Benefits of STEM education
- Today, there are approximately 3 million unfilled STEM-related jobs.
- Driving future innovation. Almost half of US economic growth over the past 50 years credited to engineering and technological advances: 1) Internet; 2) Mobile communication; 3) Cable television; 4) Home computing.
- Employment stability: 1) 4.1% - STEM occupation unemployment rate 2011; 2) 8.9% - Non-STEM occupation unemployment rate 2011.
- Earnings potential: 1) 18% - STEM salary premium 1994 over non-STEM jobs; 2) 26% - STEM salary premium 2010 over non-STEM jobs.
The root of the problem
- Low scores and lack of interest in K-12 for math and science-related subjects that are the foundation of most STEM occupations.
- Low math/science scores: 1) 2009: 44% of 12th graders did not meet basic standards of science knowledge; 2) 2011: 66% of 8th graders tested "non proficient" in math; 3) Today: 49% of parent don't feel confident enough to help
kids with math/science homework; 4) Low interest: Only 6 out of every 100 (6%) 9th graders go on to pursue STEM-related fields; 5) Difficulty attracting STEM educators: $30.377 - average teacher starting salary; $43.635 - average
starting salary for computer programmers.
- Attracting passionate teachers to hook children on STEM principles in early education is the key to producing more interest and participation in STEm occupations.
- 1 in 5 STEM college students decided to study STEM in middle school or earlier.
- 57% of all STEM college students said that it was a teacher or class that stirred their interest.
- 68% of female STEM college students list "a teacher or class" as the top factor that sparked their interest.
- Increases in public/private partnerships that pair STEM-industry businesses with education and advocacy groups.
- To push to improve STEM education is turning the tide.
- More high-level math courses taken: 1) 1982: 40% of high school graduates took algebra II; 2) 2009: 76% of high school graduates took algebra II.
- More high-level sciences courses taken: 1) 1982: 32% of graduates had taken chemistry; 2) 2009: 70% of graduates had taken chemistry.
- More women enrolled in advanced sciences classes: 1) 1990: 16% of females had taken biology, chemistry, and physics; 2) 2009: 29% of females had taken biology, chemistry, and physics.
Rackspace supports the STEM push
- Our need for diverse, technical, creative talent drives our philanthropic alignment of partnerships and sponsorships with. We believe in the transformative value of education, and we know that this facto can elevate an entire
- Youth programs are the #1 priority of our community affairs programs.
- 75% of donations are focused on education, technology, and culture.
- National competition for over $13 million in scholarships pairing students with mentors to build and program robots to complete common tasks. Impact: By 2013, Rackers will have coached B teams in the Alamo region and served as
judges for the annual three-day competition.
- Inspiring girls to be strong, smart, and bold since 1864 with innovative programs that focus on science, math, and technology education. Impact: 3x host of the Rocket to the Future Science Festival for Girls.
- Rackspace corps members volunteer time in schools in San Antonio's most underserved communities. Impact: "Yan and Emily are the best teachers I have had". Middle School students on Rackspace volunteers.
What can you do?
- STEM. grads. 37% of STEM college students have a parent in STEM. Even if you don't have children, share your knowledge to provide role models in the field.
- Parents. Even if you're not a STEM graduate, boning up on your math and science knowledge gives you a leg up when asked to help with homework.
- Communities. Organize and encourage STEM education-related initiatives in your area.
Rackspace - The Open Cloud Company | Find partner organizations in your area and volunteer at stemconnector.org/stemdirectory | Sources: http://www.bhef.com/solutions/documents/BHEF_STEM_Report.pdf; http://www.nea.org/
home/12661.htm; http://money.usnews.com/money/careers/articles/2012/09/10/stem-what-it-is-and-why-we-should-care; http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/citizenship/docs/STEM_Perception_Report.pptx; http://www.