5 ways to remember STEM’s forgotten ‘E’

Engineering experts are urging U.S. schools to incorporate the subject in a few novel ways

engineering-STEMSTEM education–a focus on science, technology, engineering, and math–has cemented its place of importance in U.S. schools and in the global economy.

And while science and math skills remain at the top of educators’ lists, engineering, often called the “forgotten E” in STEM, is equally important in today’s world.

Students need to know what engineering actually is, experts and stakeholders say. What has traditionally been viewed as a stereotypically dry and numbers-heavy career actually has vast applications in today’s workforce. Engineers can specialize in space engineering, special effects, sports, toys and entertainment, and more.…Read More

Study points to uncertainty of K-12 engineering standards

Should engineering standards be developed for K-12?
Should engineering standards be developed for K-12?

With efforts to ensure U.S. competitiveness in a global economy revolving around stronger STEM education, some policy makers are looking at whether it makes sense to include engineering standards for K-12 education. But the ability to establish a national set of standards for K-12 engineering education might still be out of reach, according to a new study from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

The study, “Standards for K-12 Engineering Education?” claims that “although the main ideas in K-12 engineering education are largely agreed upon, data based on rigorous research on engineering learning at the K-12 level are still not sufficient to develop learning progressions that could be reflected as standards.”

Educators are split on whether establishing K-12 engineering standards is a feasible option or not.…Read More

Survey: Educators aren’t discussing STEM careers with students

Students say they aren't getting the STEM guidance they need.
Teachers say they don't have the time or the resources to discuss STEM career options with their students.

In a recent survey, a majority of students said that while their science and math teachers seem knowledgeable and keep class interesting, they aren’t teaching about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) career options. High school students also said they don’t believe STEM knowledge is integral to getting a good job, which doesn’t bode well for leaders counting on STEM education to keep the nation at the forefront of the global economy.

Spurred by the Obama administration’s “Educate to Innovate” campaign—a nationwide effort by U.S. companies, foundations, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations to help move America to the top of the pack in math and science education—the American Society for Quality (ASQ) commissioned market research firm Harris Interactive to conduct an online survey to uncover how well teachers transfer their knowledge and passion for science and math to their students and inspire them to pursue STEM careers.

The survey, conducted in December, asked more than a thousand students in grades 3-12 to provide a scaled report card (with grades ranging from A-F) on their science teachers’ classroom skills and activities.…Read More