An annual study reveals STEM educators' opinions on a variety of topics.

The latest in an annual series of surveys about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education reveals that funding remains a barrier to better STEM integration in schools—and that districts need more K-8 STEM education and better professional development to help produce students who are career- and college-ready.

The key challenges facing STEM education include insufficient K-12 funding specifically designated for STEM education (48.4 percent), lacking or inadequate K-8 STEM education (46.5 percent), and insufficient professional development for STEM teachers (46.4 percent), the survey suggests.

The 2012 National Survey on STEM Education is the third in a series of annual online surveys and was written and published by Interactive Educational Systems Design, in collaboration with Daylene Long and Scott Long of STEM Market Impact.

Researchers conducted an online survey of 1,079 K-12 school and district STEM leaders and educators in December 2011.

Survey questions focused on topics such as:

  • Top challenges facing STEM education;
  • How STEM education is implemented, and what STEM courses are offered in schools;
  • STEM funding and spending;
  • “Bring your own device” (BYOD) implementation;
  • What technology products educators would like to see developed for STEM education;
  • Current and future tablet device adoption;
  • Nonprofits that are especially useful to STEM education; and
  • STEM teacher professional development activities.

Funding

Most respondents said that STEM funding in their districts is inadequate and is likely to remain the same (43.6 percent) or decrease (36.8 percent) in 2012-13.

If given an open-ended STEM education grant, survey respondents most frequently said they’d like to see: