Ignite your students' education

How to give ALL students access to
STEM and why it matters

Where We Are

Rapid technological advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IOT), robotics, automation, and other emerging technologies are redefining the future workplace and inventing occupational categories requiring 21st-century skills. In a post-COVID19 world, it is more crucial than ever that ALL children have a STEM-enhanced education to confront whatever challenges come their way. 

Data indicate that not enough of our nation’s students are equipped for STEM opportunities now, much less in the future. Additionally, there continues to be a perceptual gap between STEM and Career and Technical Education (CTE), which further exacerbates the problem of preparing our kids for careers in the 21st-century. Imagine a mechanic, historically CTE-based, working on a Tesla vehicle without a STEM-based education.

Many of our children are being taught 20th-century skills using 19th century pedagogy for a 21st-century global economy. When our teachers lack access to comprehensive STEM resources, they simply aren’t equipped to prepare students for future success.

TechTrep helps school districts implement STEM education plans by launching a Virtual STEM Academy with ubiquitous access in-school, after-school, and out-of-school for every learner. 

The Problem

Critical gaps exist in equitable access to high-quality STEM learning opportunities, the pool of STEM-qualified workers to sustain demands in STEM-related fields, underserved populations (women, racial and ethnic groups, rural and urban, and persons with disabilities) in STEM-related fields, and community stakeholder collaboration between education and workforce readiness. Our platform addresses these issues with the ability to scale across ages, institutions, and sectors.

One of the greatest challenges facing the United States is motivating, educating and training a technical workforce capable of competing on a global scale. Nationwide, there are over 500,000 open computing jobs currently available. 

By 2028, 2.5 million advanced manufacturing jobs will go unfilled, and 2.7 million data science and analytics jobs will be open. The success of our children and economy is at stake. STEMconnector, a STEM Education research organization identifies five STEM talent gaps in the STATE of STEM report:

FUNDAMENTAL SKILLS GAP

  • The average STEM competency is insufficient for modern work.

  • The new “STEM skills” (employability and 21st century skills, including communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity ) are hard to build in traditional education models.

  • Employers do not always clearly or appropriately define the skills they need.

BELIEF GAP

  • Students hold incorrect beliefs about their own STEM ability.

  • Students and others feel they do not “belong” in STEM.

  • Students falsely believe only certain industries offer STEM jobs.

  • Employers hold incorrect beliefs about how academic performance and credentials relate to job success.

Geographic Gap

  • In some regions, the number of jobs is declining, leaving people out of work and with outdated skillsets.

  • In some regions, there is a booming STEM economy, but companies must import talent as locals are not equipped to compete for those jobs.

Demographic Gap

  • Lack of access to resources drives achievement gaps in STEM education from early years.

  • Bias and historic inequity remain embedded in education and employment systems.

Postsecondary Gap

  •  Not enough people hold credentials beyond high school, but most STEM jobs require postsecondary credentials.

  • Credentials are misaligned with employer needs.

  • Jobseekers and employees face challenges engaging in lifelong learning.

The Solution: Comprehensive STEM

While transforming our society to match the pace of technology is a heavy lift, it is a necessary one. We work with school districts and their community partners to close the STEM Talent gaps by focusing on the following areas:

  • Access to high-quality STEM learning opportunities.

  • Representation of girls, racial and ethnic minority groups, and persons with disabilities in STEM.

  • Essential 21st century knowledge and skills, including critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication.

  • Stakeholder collaboration in education, workforce development and economic growth.

increasing access: launch a Virtual stem academy

Transformation requires three significant facets: access, culture, and community participation. Access accounts for at least two-thirds  of the work. Through the leadership of school districts, in partnership with community after-school organizations, ubiquitous access to STEM experiences can be executed.

Through our partnership with 21CentEd, we turnkey a virtual STEM and CTE Academy in days, rather than months, providing access to ALL kids in-school, after-school, and out-of-school.

3-Leg Stool_DistrictVSA_braces

Meeting students where they are

To make STEM relatable, students need a chance to explore the various skills in each competency. TechTrep’s courses are available digitally, making our STEM resources accessible to students, no matter where they live. TechTrep’s student license provides multiple course options in the areas of:

  • Business, Entrepreneurship and Financial Literacy

  • Digital Media, Animation and Graphic Arts

  • Programming, Coding and Gaming

  • Robotics and Engineering

Working through different STEM-based courses can become a catalyst for a student’s future career. By giving students access to STEM resources early and often, we’re preparing them for the future.

girl looking through scientific microscope

Why It Matters

happy children gathered around an ipad

Yes, they Can Learn STEM

The way to increase the number of students studying STEM is to provide ALL students with STEM experiences early in their development. Equitable access to comprehensive STEM resources ensures every learner has an opportunity to explore the opportunities available to them.

The learners most at risk of being left behind are students of poverty, urban and rural youth, girls, and students of color. Our program immerses ALL students in project-based STEM experiences before they form self-defeating ideas about their abilities – they will experience success in STEM before they think they can’t.

sparking interest

Our approach introduces students to STEM through fun, engaging courses that build multiple competencies. Because the TechTrep online platform has built-in curriculum and lesson plans, it eliminates traditional barriers to launching a comprehensive program. All of our courses are self-paced to prevent students from becoming overwhelmed. And, anyone can be a STEM mentor or coach with TechTrep – the curriculum doesn’t require a trained STEM educator, of which there is a shortage, to drive success.

By piquing interest in STEM careers early, your community members, businesses and other stakeholders will reap economic benefits.

child using virtual reality device

STEM Now equals success later

When students are immersed in STEM-based experiences from an early age, they’re less likely to develop self-defeating ideas about their abilities later. When a school district invests in STEM-based education, they are investing in workforce development, economic viability and most importantly, the future success of our children.

Remember, we are already feeling the impact of the U.S. STEM shortage. Over 500,000 STEM-related jobs are sitting unfilled. If we don’t do something to fix it now, what will that number look like by 2030?

Who Has Been Successful?

The second-most ethnically-diverse school district in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Susquehanna Township School District, serves nearly 2,900 students. After realizing the dire need for STEM workers, superintendent Dr. Tamara Willis selected TechTrep to jumpstart her district’s STEM initiative.

“The research behind TechTrep is riveting,” said Dr. Willis. “To hear Marlon and the rest of the TechTrep team share current numbers regarding the STEM workforce was alarming. I knew we needed to do something.”

Dr. Willis collaborated with county commissioners, the school board and the technology director to implement the TechTrep platform at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. “We discussed the current state of the workforce and the existing challenges in trying to find qualified workers for STEM-related jobs,” Dr. Willis said. “As a group, we’ve committed to acting as STEM advocates for our community.”

Students have ample time to access STEM experiences with TechTrep’s adaptable platform. In the district’s elementary building, students can access courses through the school’s library media specialist. Middle schoolers leverage courses during project-based learning time, as well as at the district’s after-school STEM club. As Dr. Willis states, the results are clear, “we’re removing barriers to help our learners succeed, and parents are pleased that our district is actively offering high-level opportunities to explore STEM.”

TechTrep courses provide exposure and exploratory opportunities to students, according to Dr. Willis. “The fact that TechTrep courses are challenging, but not graded, is a huge selling point for our students,” she said. “Students can dive into STEM lessons without the lingering fear of receiving a poor grade.”

The STEM crisis is real.

“A problem of this magnitude may leave district leaders wondering where to begin,” said Dr. Willis. “The fact is, investing in TechTrep as a STEM partner is a strong starting point.”

The benefit of TechTrep’s curriculum is the ability to give every student several opportunities to explore STEM, which opens the door to career pathways they may not have explored otherwise 

Dr. Willis

Let's Get Started

In these uncertain times we find ourselves in today, we want our kids to get ahead, not just get by. We can do that by helping them develop key 21st century skills that will prepare them for the new landscape of tomorrow with emphasis on STEM learning.

Launching a STEM revolution

As education leaders, it is our  responsibility to provide opportunities for STEM learning to every learner.

An effective STEM initiative takes time. The transformation of a community, town or region into a vibrant STEM community is a three-to-five-year project to start – anything less can result in wasted resources, frustration, loss of credibility and demotivation.

However, the benefits provided to students, communities and the country are well worth the investment.

Start with Access

  1. The first leg of our three-step approach is to give access to comprehensive STEM resources to ALL learners.

  2. The second leg is to transform your school district by educating faculty and staff and equipping them to take on the challenge of creating a STEM-centric culture.

  3. Finally, we’ll coach your district in leveraging the support of your surrounding community – because this important work can’t be accomplished by schools alone.

STEM, our future and our children’s future depends on it!

Start the Conversation

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