The Journey to Connect STEM from K to Careers Starts Now! Introducing the STEM Careers Coalition
On November 8, Discovery Education launched a critical initiative to connect classrooms nationwide, from K to careers. The STEM Careers Coalition will serve as a conduit through which students can see the work of the future, by providing resources that bring relevancy to learning and broaden students’ understanding of and engagement with STEM.
This blog is the first in a monthly series that will explore the partnerships and no-cost resources powering this new initiative.
Why Do We Need a New Approach to STEM Career Exploration & Skills Development?
The current state of STEM is on the decline in the United States. According to a study by the Programme for International Student Assessment, the U.S. ranks 40th out of 71 countries in math and science ability in 15-year-olds. The U.S. is also falling behind in the STEM workforce, where there are almost 3 million unfilled STEM jobs, but only about 300,000 STEM graduates annually. If we hope to prepare our students for the future of work, particularly in STEM-focused careers, then we need to work together to provide the cutting-edge resources that will impact student engagement and help facilitate STEM learning in the classroom.
What is the STEM Careers Coalition?
The journey to prepare the next generation for the future of work cannot be waged alone and no one stakeholder has all the answers. Discovery Education has partnered across industries with like-minded companies that have committed to help paint the picture and support these critical resources to provide multiple pathways for students to be successful. The anchor partner organizations who have provided initial seed funding to support to power the initiative’s launch include Chevron, The Manufacturing Institute, the American Petroleum Institute (API), Boeing, Microsoft, and Best Buy. These industry leaders depend on a strong pipeline of STEM-ready students to drive their businesses and the American economy forward, and thus are aligned on a shared mission to accelerate the elevation of STEM career pathways for students, parents and guardians in public, private, charter, and tribal schools nationwide.
These companies represent the Coalition launching pad and reflect the interconnectedness of our STEM world. They are sparking the curiosity, providing the roadmap, and opening their doors to students and teachers.
How Will the Coalition Impact STEM Culture?
Through a 5-pronged approach the Coalition aims to prepare 10 million students for future career success by:
- Directly supporting select K-8 schools with foundational STEM curriculum and professional development, with a focus on under-resourced schools.
- Engaging in thoughtful national and local conversations within, between and amongst industries and school leaders directly.
- Providing training tools and activities for employees of Coalition partners to engage in STEM learning directly as catalyst for student inspiration.
- Evaluating efforts for a deeper understanding of what is working with regards to STEM learning and student attitudes and their future orientation as it relates to career pathways.
- Launching a careers portal that bring the stories to life – a place to engage students, teachers, parents, and employers in what work looks like, what problems we are solving and who are the companies, the people, and jobs that are leading the way.
We all have a role to play in closing the STEM education and inspiration gap. Join us in the journey to connect STEM from K to Careers!
Learn more about the STEM Careers Coalition and find new classroom and career resources at https://stemcareerscoalition.org/.