In our "Solutions" piece last month
, we discussed several methods the USA could employ to build and strengthen its IT workforce. The question is, are any of these methods currently in use? Or coming into being?
There are 2 parts to a workforce rebuild – Education and Jobs. We must ask ourselves:
1. Do we have the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education to train a strong enough workforce?
2. Do we have the jobs for the STEM workforce we do train?
The answer to Question 1 is (overwhelmingly) Yes!
This is a representative list of the STEM education efforts underway in the U.S. right now.
EDUCATION: STEM initiatives are running in schools across the country, in every state at every grade level.
- STEMSchool.com - Provides a list of STEM schools in each U.S. State.
- California Girls in STEM (Lawrence Hall of Science, UC Berkeley)
- Institute for STEM Education (CSU East Bay)
- Next Generation Science Standards (Joint effort by national associations to provide states with science education standards & resources)
- Individual schools with STEM focus include (among many others!):
- William Howard Taft Elementary, Columbus, OH
- West Hills STEM Academy, Bremerton, WA
- Henderson Middle School, Atlanta, GA
- Mading Elementary STEM Academy, Houston, TX
- Saint Mary School, San Francisco, CA
ADDITIONAL PROGRAMS: Many public & private organizations offer STEM classes, camps, lessons and events. These organizations include museums, nonprofits, even NASA!
EXTRACURRICULAR: America is also home to the Maker Movement
, a collection of groups dedicated to making everything from electronic devices to biomechanics to robotics. "Makers" come from all age groups and regularly runs hands-on workshops.
It’s clear that a lot of attention is going into STEM education & training. More and more young people have the choice of a STEM career, along with everything they need to prepare for it.
Will the jobs be waiting for them? Find out next month, when we address Question 2, “Do we have the jobs for the STEM workforce we do train?”