There’s a growing interest in emphasizing problem-solving and understanding concepts over skills and procedures. While memorized skills and procedures are useful, knowing the underlying meanings and understanding how they work builds problem-solving skills so that students may go beyond solving the standard book chapter problem.
San Francisco-based startup KiraKira’s approach to engaging girls is to make STEM topics fun and practical. The company combines fashion design, engineering, and 3D printing for an experience that stimulates and educates young minds. KiraKira offers summer design camps and popup studios. The company is also working on custom lesson plans for educators to use in their classrooms.
Imagine walking into a room and not seeing a single person that looks like you. Not seeing yourself reflected in your peers, and not feeling like you could possibly fit. For girls, this is unfortunately still the case for many who are interested in pursuing STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).
“One benefit of [Apple’s App Development Curriculum] is that if you look at the 2 million Jobs we’ve created in the economy, about three-quarters of those, give or take are in app development,” said Cook, “That segment of economy has really grown leaps and bounds since the introduction of the App Store in 2008.”
The invasion of enterprise technology into the telecom sector will likely bring with it greater gender diversity. There are more women in enterprise IT than in the telecom industry, and as the two worlds collide, there's hope that workers of the female persuasion will also start filtering into telecom.
To help raise awareness about opportunities, organizations like Inforum and Bosch Community Foundation are stepping up with new programs unveiled this week to expose more girls and boys to STEM careers. Inforum launched its mentoring program called inSTEM, which is aimed at encouraging more women to serve as mentors to young girls.
While the Trump administration has showed some signs of prioritizing STEM, federal programs that support STEM initiatives are on the chopping block under the president's recent budget proposal for fiscal year 2018. That was the bottom line from panelists at the 2017 U.S. News STEM Solutions conference session titled "A Look at the Future of Federal STEM Policy."
"We need to find the opportunity to start that fire for students that are out there today," he said. But that's not an easy task, as this year's U.S. News STEM Leadership Hall of Fame recipients explained. Many students lack access to advanced math and science classes, especially those in schools that serve large percentages of low-income students.
The reality to be confronted is that educators -- and I include myself here -- are not yet developing the workforce needed to fill our country's STEM needs today or in the future. As a result, our graduates are not prepared to grasp the many STEM opportunities available to them.