Because of a confluence of economic and technological forces, the United States now has an opportunity to rebuild its manufacturing base and restore its global competitiveness. But another report will not help. Bold steps commensurate with the scale and importance of the objectives are absolutely necessary. Implementing these bold steps requires a national focal point of responsibility with a comprehensive strategy and significant and sustained public and private investments. Other countries are not standing still. The onus is on us.
For years, girls and young women have been a critical missing part of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) studies and careers. The stubborn gender disparity in STEM fields has sparked important debates on the underlying reasons. Some attribute the gender disparity to social and infrastructural factors, lack of mentors and role models, and lack of awareness about what these fields offer in terms of educational and career opportunities.
ACT’s fifth and latest edition of its annual STEM report focuses on the more than 2 million students in the 2017 US high school graduating class—60 percent of all the nation’s graduates—who took the ACT® test. The ACT is the only college readiness exam in the US with a full science test and also the only one that reports a STEM score and a STEM College Readiness Benchmark score indicating students’ readiness to succeed in college courses such as calculus, biology, chemistry and physics, which are typically required for a college STEM-related major.
In recent years, STEM education--the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics--has become a national priority. This focus has, in part, been driven by concerns over international competitiveness, dating back to Sputnik and the space race.
Young children are naturally curious about the world around them. They mix water and dirt to create mud, ask whether plants eat food like people do, follow ants marching along a sidewalk crack, and wonder about everything they see. With help from adults, these early experiences are key to developing the important thinking and reasoning skills that children will later use to explore increasingly complex questions about how the world works.
A technology revolution is now sweeping the world, and the countries that most effectively seize the opportunities it creates will dominate the 21st century. Nowhere is the revolution more transformative for lives, livelihoods, security and prosperity than in the field of artificial intelligence. AI will shift the balance of power in both the global economy and international relations, because the countries that master AI first will have a crucial strategic advantage in writing the rules for the next global order.
Today, the U.S. and Germany are dropping in ranks as innovation champions while Japan and China are rising. The survey also revealed that business executives are favoring protectionist policies as a way to keep jobs in their countries — but globalization is still viewed as a driving force for innovation.
More than 80 percent of Americans age 65-plus live in metropolitan areas,[i] and nearly 90 percent of older adults in the U.S. want to age in their homes and communities.[ii] Thus, the “Best Cities for Successful Aging” index is not intended to identify the locales to which older adults should retire. Instead, the index and report are designed to highlight the nation’s most livable metropolitan areas—those that enable an optimal quality of life for their aging citizens.
Cyberlearning researchers envision and investigate the future of learning with technology. As of summer 2017, the Cyberlearning and Future Learning Technologies (CFTL) program of the National Science Foundation (NSF) had made 279 research grant awards. In addition, several hundred other NSF research projects have cyberlearning themes. Many of these cyberlearning projects are in the exploratory stage or aim at capacity building, consistent with the goal of expanding frontiers. These projects typically do not aim to produce market-ready products or prove efficacy.
The survey findings indicate a clear opportunity to engage women to enter the field of technology at an earlier age, potentially making a significant impact on the widespread gender disparity in IT careers today. In fact, 69% of all respondents, which included 658 women and men, believe the key to getting more women in tech is encouraging females to pursue technology in high school or college.