Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)

STEM education is vital to the future of our children, our region and our country. STEM is everywhere; it shapes our everyday experiences. Science is our natural world. Technology has changed our world and the manner in which we interact with other people (i.e. the smartphone). Engineering is focused on the design of systems and problem solving. We only have to look around to see what improvements to our lives and our homes have been engineered in the last decade alone. And Math is everywhere--every other STEM field depends on mathematics. STEM is important, because it permeates every aspect of our lives.

STEM is the present and future. In 2009, the United States Department of Labor listed the ten most wanted employees. Eight of those employees were ones with degrees in the STEM fields: accounting, computer science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, information sciences and systems, computer engineering, civil engineering, and economics and finance.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, STEM occupations are growing at 17%, while others are growing at 9.8%. Health care workers with associate degrees to doctors of medicine will average 20% more in life time earnings than peers with similar degrees in non-health care. A glance at 2010 starting salaries for engineers with $47,145 for civil engineers to $60,054 for chemical engineers is strong evidence that STEM related jobs can be financially rewarding careers for our children. Likewise, according to the U. S. Labor Department, the 10 fastest growing occupations) from 2008-2018, and their median wages include the following:

  • Biomedical engineers, $77,400
  • Network systems and data communications analysts, $71,100
  • Financial examiners, $70,930
  • Medical scientists, except epidemiologists, $72,590
  • Physician assistants, $81,230
  • Biochemists and biophysicists, $82,840

STEM careers are professions that build communities and transform nations. STEM professionals are in charge of solving the complex problems of today’s world and its future. They are working to find solutions for global warming, cancer, third world hunger, disappearing habitats, and an interdependent world economy. STEM careers are both challenging and fun.

For our region, investing in the future of science, technology, engineering and mathematics makes sense for long term economic development. Atlanta will remain an economic hub provided our schools and universities provide a pipeline of capable talent. Introducing our young children and current students to STEM opportunities and getting them engaged and excited about seeking advanced schooling in these areas is essential to meet the demands of the 21st century marketplace.

Because STEM is so important for our children, our region and our country, we need to encourage the students currently in our educational systems, as well as future generations of students, to understand and embrace the technology that affects them every day of their lives.

Students should be advised on the merits of taking as many math and science courses as possible. And these courses need to be taught by engaged and enthusiastic teachers using hands-on and minds-on activities. Making science and math courses fun and interesting will not only help students to learn, but might also plant the seed of interest that could grow into an exciting and rewarding STEM career.

The school will have a STEM Maker Lab allowing faculty to incorporate hands-on cross-curricula design and fabrication activities creating a fusion of Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and other 21st-Century skills. The Maker Lab will be a place where students can tinker, create and be inspired and get excited about STEM.

The Importance of STEM

Exposing Every Student To STEM