Changing the face of STEM
Education leads to positive change in the quality of our work force
STEM is an acronym that has recently crept into the education and workforce vocabulary. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and several initiatives and reports talk about the necessity of improving education in these key areas. SciMathMN’s mission is to improve the quality of STEM education in Minnesota. Raising the level of academic preparation of Minnesota’s children and young adults can energize Minnesota’s workforce. Check out the reports noted below or browse our website for more information.
National Academies Report:
Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future
The National Academies has laid out a comprehensive strategy of specific recommendations for federal policy-makers to create high-quality jobs and focus new scientific and technical efforts on meeting the nation’s needs in the 21st century. The committee’s report, “Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future,” points out that in a world where advanced knowledge is widespread and low-cost labor is readily available, U.S. advantages in the marketplace and in science and technology have begun to erode. It suggests that a comprehensive and coordinated federal effort is urgently needed to bolster U.S. competitiveness and pre-eminence in these areas so that the nation will consistently gain from the opportunities offered by rapid globalization. A non-profit organization, National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) has followed up with the report’s recommendations.
Learn more about the report
A Decade of Action Synthesizes Key Reports
Based on an analysis of 20 recent reports, A Decade of Action: Sustaining Global Competitiveness – A Synthesis of Recommendations from Business, Industry and Government for a 21st Century Workforce, identified the changes that will most impact the development of a high quality K-12 system for STEM education and move student achievement forward in the critical STEM fields. The conclusions and recommendations in this report can assist Minnesota business leaders and policymakers in setting priorities for the urgency that surrounds STEM education.
Closing the Achievement Gap in Math and Science
The latest results from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Math and Science Partnership (MSP) program show not only improved proficiency among all elementary and middle school students, but also a closing of the achievement gaps between both African-American and Hispanic students and white students in elementary school math, and between African-American and white students in elementary and middle-school science. Since 2002, the MSP program has supported institutions of higher education and K-12 school systems in partnering higher education faculty from science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines with K-12 teachers. Through the program, STEM faculty provide professional development and mentoring to math and science teachers to deepen their content knowledge in their field of expertise–all with the goal of better preparing students in these subjects. More than 70 businesses, numerous state departments of education, science museums, and community organizations are also partners.
National Mathematics Advisory Panel Releases Final Report
The Final Report of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel provides recommendations to the President and U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings on the best use of scientifically based research to advance the teaching and learning of mathematics. Two years in the making, the report contains 45 findings and recommendations on numerous topics including instructional practices, materials, professional development, and assessments. For more information on the National Mathematics Advisory Panel and its findings, visit www.ed.gov/MathPanel.
Adding It Up: Helping Children Learn Mathematics
Preceding the National Mathematics Advisory Panel’s report, Adding It Up: Helping Children Learn Mathematics explored how students in pre-K through 8th grade learn mathematics and recommended how teaching, curricula, and teacher education should change to improve mathematics learning during these critical years. This publication explored a wide variety of kinds of research and reported conclusions on which various kinds of studies converged with their results.
Summary of State Education Policies on Pk–12 Education
The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), recently released its biennial report, “Key State Education Policies on PK–12 Education: 2006.” The most recent edition of this report updates two decades of research, providing 50-state analysis and trends for state policies that define teaching and learning across the nation. The report covers: licensure requirements, standards for learning, pre-school policies, student assessments, and graduation requirements.
NACME Releases Research on Underrepresented Minorities in STEM
The National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) has released new research, made possible by Motorola Foundation, that quantifies a growing “opportunity gap” in the number of minority students pursuing degrees and careers in science and technology. In what NACME characterizes as “the ‘New’ American Dilemma,” the report shows that rates of participation by African Americans, American Indians, and Latinos in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields have flat lined, and in some cases have actually declined. The report also articulates a set of calls to action directed at K-12 and higher education, government, and business.