Survey: Districts lack STEM funding, professional development

Nearly 32 percent of respondents identified grants from private foundations as funding sources for new STEM education initiatives, and 25.9 percent of respondents said funds came from district-led initiatives.

Twenty-three percent said no new STEM initiatives are planned for the 2011-12 school year.

The most frequently indicated funding priorities included STEM professional development for teachers (71 percent), probeware (31.7 percent), simulation software (30.8 percent), programs that expose students to STEM careers (29.5 percent), science room equipment (28.1 percent), and laptops or notebook computers (26.1 percent).

For more STEM education news, see:

Solving the STEM Education Crisis

Sixty-two percent of respondents said their schools or districts have one or more programs that integrate core STEM concepts. Of the respondents from schools or districts without STEM programs, many replied that their schools or districts are somewhat likely (16.9 percent) or very likely (6 percent) to integrate core STEM concepts in the next one to three years.

STEM-related courses that schools and districts offer include:

  • Career and technical education programs (66.7 percent)
  • Introduction to technology courses (63.6 percent)
  • Computer science or computer programming courses (61.1 percent)

Respondents indicated that their schools and districts currently offer or are likely to offer in the next one to three years:

  • Robotics courses (65.6 percent)
  • Engineering fundamentals courses (57.6 percent)
  • Energy and the environment courses (57.4 percent)

Courses most likely to be offered in the next one to three years include…

  • Energy and the environment (24.9 percent)
  • Middle school STEM courses (17.4 percent)
  • Elementary school STEM courses (46.2 percent)

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