Future-proof ALL kids for a 21st-century STEM-based workforce.
There are over 500,000 STEM-related jobs available in our country that are not being filled. We are graduating only about 10% of students needed to fill jobs. The projections indicate that these jobs will increase from 1,000,000 to 3,000,000 over the next 10 years. Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, automation, and robotics will transform or eliminate 47% of the jobs that we know. At the rate of STEM adoption in our school systems, our kids will not be prepared for this. We have to get ALL kids excited about doing STEM now, and we have to introduce them early. The fastest way to involve kids in STEM is through in-school, after-school, and independent programs. If students aren’t prepared to fill the present and future skills gap, our future economy will be in a crisis of great proportions.
At TechTrep we have refocused our business model to do our part in these three ways:
Frequently Asked Questions
We must increase the pool of students pursuing science, technology, engineering, art, and math careers. We also must be deliberate about including girls, students of poverty, students of color, rural students, and urban students. The way to increase the number of students studying STEM is to provide all students with STEM experiences early in their development.
For all kids to have positive STEM experiences we have to think about STEM as we think about math and English—they are mandatory. We can no longer afford to treat STEM as enrichment for smart kids or kids with a technical or scientific disposition. In order for this to happen, every single person in the district must shift their thinking to allow STEM to permeate all subject areas. While STEM is a great way to develop the 21st-century skills necessary for the future, STEM skills, which include collaboration, creativity, communication, and critical thinking, must be taught in all core subject areas. The entire district must understand the urgency, embrace process, and prepare students with the skills for a world where technology transforms work in profound ways.
The students most at risk of being left behind are students of poverty, urban youth, rural youth, girls, and students of color. Our program will immerse ALL 4th - 8th grade students into a project-based STEM experience before they form self-defeating ideas about their abilities--they will do STEM before they think they can’t. A STEM community project is a collective impact project in which local stakeholders provide a STEM-based education for the benefit the children, economic viability, and workforce development. This project prepares kids for future jobs and develops a workforce that support current businesses, thereby positioning a city, town, or region as a better place to live, work, and play in a technology-driven future.
According to the STEM Education Coalition, “Spotty access to resources, like high-quality after-school programs, science centers, libraries, and partners in STEM professions, hinders the preparedness of our country’s students to enter a world in need of STEM expertise. Equitable access to high-quality informal learning that engages young people in authentic STEM experiences is a critical piece of addressing these imbalances. Expanding the STEM learning ecosystem to include more learning environments for children will require crafting comprehensive public policies that recognize informal, after-school, and out-of-school programs in their roles as complements to formal education.” With our broad list of courses, we will help towns, cities, and regions create a formal and informal ecosystem for STEM learning and innovation to thrive.
- In school: Schools can make time for project-based courses that provide hands-on experience in a STEM-related field.
- After school: Schools, or any organization, can design after-school programs connected to a STEM-driven experience, club, or continuation of in-school projects.
- Out of school: Community programs, summer school, and self-directed pursuits can contribute to young people's interest in, and understanding of, STEM.