All young students should be prepared to think critically so that they have the skills to become the innovators, educators, and leaders of tomorrow. In order to advance our society, the next generation needs the ability to create the innovations that can solve the most pressing challenges facing our nation and our world. Giving students a solid foundation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) is an important piece of preparing them for success beyond school.
1. STEM Prepares Students to Think Critically
Even for students who are not planning to pursue a career in STEM, the skills that these disciplines teach students remains relevant. The key to success in any career is knowing how to think critically. These subjects teach students how to think critically and how to solve problems — skills that can be used throughout life to help them get through tough times and take advantage of opportunities whenever they appear. Having a strong set of STEM skills gives students the ability to analyze the world around them, make strategic decisions, and find ways to make improvements.
2. STEM Careers are Growing
For students with an interest in pursuing a career in STEM after high school graduation, the future looks bright. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, science, technology, engineering, and math occupations are growing at 17%, while other occupations are growing at 9.8%. On top of this, The National Science Foundation estimates that 80% of jobs available for the years to come will require math and science skills. Additionally, STEM degree holders have a higher income even in non-STEM careers.
3. Making the US and the World a Better Place
According to 2012 statistics from the National Math and Science Initiative, there are 26 and 19 industrialized nations that perform better than U.S. students in math and science, respectively. Today that number of the world’s scientists and engineers that reside in the US has shrunk to about 15%. Exposing students to STEM subjects and careers early on is a powerful way to strengthen our country’s global competitiveness and create new innovations that propel society forward.
By extending the STEM pipeline from elementary school through high school, students are given the opportunities to establish a bright future for themselves, as well as the world. Thanks to programs like U can B, entrepreneurs and businesspeople are giving students the chance to see what life is like after high school and college. U can B exposes children grades 6-12 to STEM subjects, creating an educational environment that not only values excellence in math and science, but excellence in creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship.