The House of Representatives passed legislation to make STEM education and research funding more robust and accessible to students at tribal and historically black colleges and universities, as well as at minority-serving institutions, or MSIs. The MSI STEM Achievement Act, introduced by Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, and Frank Lucas R-Okla., in September, passed by a voice vote Monday and moves to the Senate for consideration.
Across the U.S., the federal government provided 53 percent of R&D funding at institutions of higher education in FY 2018. Those institutions provided 26 percent of the funding themselves, and most of the remainder was provided by a mix of nonprofit organizations (7 percent), industry (6 percent), and state and local government (5 percent). The specific contributions varied from state to state, however, with some relying more on specific relationships to support R&D within the state.
Now more than ever, it’s crucial to harness the full potential of STEM to tackle climate change, address public health challenges and advance technology. And there’s a growing recognition that we won’t be up to the task if we don’t ensure all students have access to foundational math training, authentic STEM learning and high-level, career-relevant STEM courses. Right now, students of color and low-income students are too often shut out of these learning opportunities - too often because the courses and other opportunities are never made available to them.
To fill the massive demand for cybersecurity talent, secondary and higher education should focus their attention on developing cybersecurity courses that are rooted in IT operations and applications. With 300,000 open cybersecurity positions in the United States and 4 million open cybersecurity positions globally, many technology experts are calling for a forward-thinking approach to the country’s workforce challenges.
Relatively few of the benefits of economic growth in the last decade have gone to less-educated workers. The median inflation-adjusted salary for a worker with a high-school degree who has not attended college increased by less than 1 percent from 2008 to 2017 (inching from $37,596 to $37,960). Moreover, non-college-degree workers earn just 56 percent as much as the median worker with at least a bachelor’s degree.
Coding, the ability to read and write the language of computer software, is considered an important future skill, a fluency in the common langue of a connected, technological, global economy. In Finland, they are using chess, a game at least 1,300 years old, to teach it. You may say, “Who cares what they’re doing in Finland?” We should.
Results of the 2018 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) found American teens showed no actual improvement in reading, math, and science compared to the 2015 results. Though the ranking of U.S. students improved among those of other countries, scores were statistically unchanged compared to those from 2015, when the assessment was last conducted. The ranking of U.S. students improved only because the scores of students in other countries dropped.
For students deciding between computer science and computer engineering, the former might result in a higher salary a year after college. New comprehensive data from the U.S. Education Department show the median salary for computer science majors at Northwestern was about $8,000 more than computer engineering majors.
Content knowledge skills are relatively easy to learn, standardize and assess. That means they’re also easy to automate. As AI and education expert Stuart Elliott has pointed out, computer literacy capabilities surpassed 30% of workers in developed countries in 2016. By 2026, this number will be 60%. As for numeracy skills, including math and data analysis, computers will outperform nearly 100% of workers.
Toy robots are nothing new. In the 1980s, the R2D2-like Tomy Verbot or the clunky Milton Bradley Big Trak let kids program their movements or actions using voice commands or a keypad. The marketing for those robots focused mostly on the fun -- and, in the case of the Big Trak, the ability to deliver an apple to your dad. These days, toy companies have a different message for parents as they hawk their coding toys: Your kids will have fun, but they’ll also be prepared for the jobs of the future.