Did you know that people who work in STEM make an average annual salary of $100,900, compared to $55,260 for non-STEM occupations? And that in the next decade, an estimated 80% of careers will require math and science skills?
November 8 is National STEM Day, and we’re taking some time to reflect on the importance of STEM learning. STEM literacy is crucial for today’s students, and becoming more so every day. For students in the 21st century, a deep knowledge of subjects like math, science, engineering and technology is essential – and not just because STEM learning is increasingly tied to career advancement and personal success.
A STEM education isn’t limited to the classroom. In an interconnected, information-driven society, STEM provides the foundation that every student needs to understand the world around them, as well as the problem-solving skills to come up with innovative solutions to our shared challenges. You’d be hard-pressed to name a single field or industry that hasn’t been transformed by technology – from the food industry to fashion, marketing to marine biology, STEM skills are in high demand. Regardless of a student’s interests or ambitions, STEM literacy will be instrumental to achieving their goals.
Students in STEM will also play a leading role in addressing the challenges we face as a society and as a planet. Climate change, public health, poverty, food insecurity, water shortages: The defining issues of our time must be addressed head-on by innovative people with strong STEM backgrounds, and today’s students are rising to the challenge. That’s why it’s so important that every student be given the opportunity and resources to pursue a STEM education.
This year, National STEM Day takes on added relevance. In October, the National Assessment of Educational Progress was released – also known as the Nation’s Report Card – and the results were eye-opening: Math scores have seen the largest drop ever, setting students back years. Nearly four in 10 eighth graders failed to grasp basic math concepts. Given the massive importance of STEM education in today’s world, the fact that many students are falling behind in math should concern us all.
STEM educators across the country are working tirelessly to help students catch up, but they can’t do it alone. Students urgently need STEM support, and we believe that online learning platforms like Numerade, with step-by-step video lessons that help students truly learn the concepts, can be an essential tool in helping them develop the STEM skills they need to succeed in the 21st century. Making high quality STEM supports accessible for every single student is imperative – for their success, and for our future. When students learn STEM, we all benefit.