What is STEM?
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics and is a term that it used in order to group together these academic disciplines. The acronym was initially used in education to begin to acknowledge the anticipated lack of qualified individuals for future high-tech jobs. One of the main goals of the United States’ education system is to “maintain a citizenry that is well versed in STEM fields”. STEM encourages the broadening of the study of engineering and beginning this kind of learning at younger grades. STEM education is often taught in isolation and many students are never exposed to a STEM-related curriculum, making a STEM education something that is not easily accessible to all. However, in recent years, there has been a large push to integrate STEM programs into public school systems, because of the necessity for STEM professionals. In 2012, President Barack Obama increased the “Mathematics and Science Partnership (MSP)” budget in order to include additional grants to states for improving teacher education in STEM fields. Without STEM education, there would be an extreme lack of working STEM professionals, which would have some serious consequences for the future.
Why does this matter?
At a growing rate of 17%, STEM occupations are growing at one of the largest rates of any occupation. Other occupations are only growing at approximately 9.8%, which is a little more than half of the rate of STEM occupations. Along with their growing industry, STEM professionals are among some of the highest paid workers in the nation. The average publicized salary for entry-level STEM jobs is $66,123 compared to $52,299 for non-STEM jobs. The increasing demand for skilled workers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics is largely due to the increasing global competitiveness. According to the National Science Foundation, “In the 21st century, scientific and technological innovations have become increasingly important as we face the benefits and challenges of both globalization and a knowledge-based economy. To succeed in this new information-based and highly technological society, students need to develop their capabilities in STEM to levels much beyond what was considered acceptable in the past.”
STEM education has also been proven to help close the ethnic and gender gaps that often exist in math and science fields. Many people have taken initiatives to increase the role of women and minorities in STEM-related fields. One of the largest groups who is taking that initiative is the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). The Society of Women Engineers has over 37,000 members in 100 different professional sections and 300 student sections throughout the United States and its main goal is to “stimulate women to achieve full potential in careers as engineers and leaders, expand the image of the engineering profession as a positive force in improving the quality of life, demonstrate the value of diversity.”
What is being done to fix this problem?
Many organizations and schools across the country are continuing to push for a better STEM curriculum as part of the lives of children and young adults and the same goes for us here at Design Engine. With over 20 years of industry experience, we want to use our knowledge to encourage today’s youth to pursue STEM careers.
Design Engine has been a leader in adult education when it comes to CAD, but we are no longer just focusing on adult education. We understand the importance of educating the minds of the future, and that is why we have created our youth CAD program debuting Fall 2019.
Design Engine’s CAD Camp is an opportunity for those 12 and up to enhance their technological capabilities. Over the course of the program, our CAD camp will cover a variety of topics like Video Game Design using Maya, 3D printing, web design, Adobe Suites and so many more!
A word from our founder, Bart Brejcha: “If the future is automation, shouldn’t your kids be encouraged to think about exploring robotics or engineering at a young age? Encourage your student to think about how STEM, specifically technology, impacts the world around us.”
STEM education is nowhere near as widely accessible as it should be, and with our youth CAD program this Fall, we hope that we can increase that accessibility and encourage the minds of the future to be smart and innovative STEM professionals one day.