For years, federal and state education leaders have been working on strengthening and improving our students' skills in science, technology, engineering and math. In order for U.S. students to compete in a 21st century workforce, they must be skilled in these areas.
STEM has become a focus area for our educational program. The purpose of STEM is to increase student inquiry and curiosity through engagement, higher level questioning, self-reflection and openness to new ideas, and respect for evidence characterized through scientific inquiry. The goals of the STEM program are to increase proficiency of all students in STEM and increase the number of students capable of pursuing a STEM career.
There are several reasons for implementing a STEM program, including:
• STEM jobs pay higher wages compared with the same degree counterparts in other jobs.
• Top 10 bachelor-degree majors with the highest median earning are all in STEM fields.
• Average annual wage for all STEM occupations was $77,880 in May 2009, which was significantly above the U.S. average of non-STEM occupations.
• STEM jobs grew three times faster than non-STEM occupations.