STEM Education in the U.S. is “Middling”
Despite mediocre results, the push for STEM and STEAM goes on
A large number of students who begin college as STEM majors switch to another field of emphasis. Some say it is because STEM classes at the college level are so much harder than what students experienced in high school.
Despite many initiatives by the government to increase awareness for STEM education, especially by girls and minorities, STEM education is perceived as “middling” in the U.S. Only 25% of Americans think STEM education in the U.S. is above average compared to other countries around the globe.
Despite the perception that STEM education is mediocre in the U.S., more and more schools are teaching computer science than ever before. In 2017, many states moved forward with legislation to make teaching computer science mandatory.
People involved in education at all levels have been hearing about increasing awareness for STEM and STEAM teaching for several years. This call for awareness has received mixed results in determining how many students choose STEM-focused studies, but the push isn’t slowing down, nor should it.
While grants and government mandates help increase the attention of students considering a STEM or STEAM-focused education, awareness doesn’t always translate into action.
Joshua Sneideman thinks that one of the solutions to get more students interested is to tell more stories of STEM career possibilities. He believes starting in late elementary and middle school would allow students to form a practical picture in their minds about the kind of life they could have by studying STEM and STEAM subjects.