STEM: K-12: Collaboration between We Care Worldwide and numerous partner resources
BEGIN PREPARING FOR SUCCESS NOW, BEFORE YOU ENTER COLLEGE
At Langston University, we are dedicated to doing everything possible to support the success of our STEM scholars. We want you to not only earn a Bachelor’s degree in STEM, but to excel in your courses and move on to enroll in an advanced or professional degree program.
Your country, your community, and your family needs you to be successful. You will be tomorrow’s innovators, scientists, architects, programmers, doctors, and teachers.
Before you can begin your journey to becoming a STEM professional, you must first be prepared for success in this important discipline.
The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine describe STEM as “high-quality, knowledge-intensive jobs . . . that lead to discovery and new technology,” improving the U.S. economy and standard of living.
Why should Black parents care? Jobs. Money. The ability to create new and exciting innovations.
Like women and other minority groups, African-American men are also underrepresented in the workforce. Census data show that in 2010, African-American men made up 6.2 percent of the population between 18 and 64 years old. But in the same year, the NSF reported that black men represented just 3 percent of scientists and engineers working in those fields.
If we don’t start now preparing our children to become the innovators of tomorrow, we’ll find ourselves, as a race, even further behind.
The 2 charts below (left and right) show expected job growth through 2020, and highest paying STEM occupations.
The average wage for all STEM occupations is $85,570, nearly double the average for all occupations ($47,230). Only five out of the 100 STEM jobs have wages below the average for all occupations.
Seven out of the 10 largest STEM occupations are related to computers. Some of the largest are applications software developers (686,470), computer user support specialists (563,540) and computer systems analysts (528,320).
How do we get our children started in STEM?
With an understanding of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. All of these STEM disciplines teach us how stuff works. Through STEM education, we learn to become problem solvers, innovators, creators, and collaborators and go on to fill the critical pipeline of engineers, scientists, and innovators so essential to the future of the nation.
The importance of the M in STEM
Math teaches logic and order. Mathematical equations have predictable outcome, and precise steps must be followed in order to attain that result. The discipline of mind that children develop in math class can carry over into everyday life. It I needed to manage finances, to prepare food.
It is impossible to perform basic scientific equations without knowledge of math. It is unthinkable to even approach Engineering without an excellent knowledge of math.
Companies know this, as some businesses will hire math majors based on the presumption that students who are good at math have learned how to think. Math can also provide a vehicle through which critical-thinking skills are put into practice and refined. An example of mathematical critical thinking is when students are required to explain how they arrived at a solution to a complex problem or to describe the ideas behind a formula or procedure.
Parents Impact Children’s Attitudes Toward STEM
Unfortunately, if parents dismiss math and science as nerdy and therefore undesirable, they could be dooming their children to a very narrowly defined future. Even if parents are not very good at math or science, there are many tools that can help them understand basic concepts that apply to real life circumstances. Parents and children can learn at the same time, and have fun doing it.