“[STEM] is more than a school subject, or the periodic table, or the properties of sine waves. It is an approach to the world, a critical way to understand and explore and engage with the world, and then have the capacity to change that world..."
— President Barack Obama, March 23, 2015
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration:
- In 2010, there were 7.6 million STEM workers in the United States, representing about 1 in 18 workers.
- STEM occupations are projected to grow by 17.0 percent from 2008 to 2018, compared to 9.8 percent growth for non-STEM occupations.
- STEM workers command higher wages, earning 26 percent more than their nonSTEM counterparts.
- More than two-thirds of STEM workers have at least a college degree, compared to less than one-third of non-STEM workers.
- STEM degree holders enjoy higher earnings, regardless of whether they work in STEM or non-STEM occupations.
The President has called on the nation to develop, recruit, and retain 100,000 excellent STEM teachers over the next 10 years. He also has asked colleges and universities to graduate an additional 1 million students with STEM majors.
These improvements in STEM education will happen only if Hispanics, African-Americans, and other underrepresented groups in the STEM fields—including women, people with disabilities, and first-generation Americans—robustly engage and are supported in learning and teaching in these areas.
At TeachersWhoTech, we share the President's commitment to supporting and improving STE(A)M education. Ensuring that all students have access to high-quality learning opportunities in STEAM subjects is a priority.
Have you considered how often we experience STEAM in our lives? Science is our natural world and the components that make it up: the sun, moon, stars, lands, rocks, oceans, weather, humans, animals, insects, plants, bacterium, the list is almost endless. In today’s world, technology means computers and smartphones, but the real definition is simply "the application of knowledge for practical ends;" it goes back to television, radio, microscopes, telegraph, telescopes, compasses, magnets and even the first wheel. Engineering includes designing buildings, roads, and bridges, but it also tackles today’s challenges of transportation, global warming and environment-friendly machines, appliances and systems. We only have to look around to see what improvements to our lives and our homes have been engineered in the last decade alone. Arts is key to creativity and creativity is an essential component of innovation. Innovation is necessary to improve upon and create new industries and new industries, with their new jobs, are the basis of our future economic wellbeing. We commonly think our encounters with mathematics at the grocery store, the bank, and on tax forms, but what about the math we use every second to calculate time? To estimate distance? To share a slice of cake? Also, every other STEAM field depends on mathematics. STEAM is important, because it pervades every aspect of our lives.