Uniting the Past, Present and Future of STEM Education
If you think about it, there are numerous links that join the past, present and future of the manufacturing industry. To date, the industry is making the most of the past and present of manufacturing by highlighting its growth and improvements over the years. These include initiatives such as last month’s National Manufacturing Day and Month that demonstrate how manufacturing is filled with the use of new technology and that it’s provides a great future for its employees.
Appealing to Multiple Audiences
Through the exploration and re-introduction of the manufacturing environment to new groups, it’s possible to have a glimpse of the future of manufacturing and also what links the industry’s past, present and future. One major link is the ongoing use of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). STEM has numerous interactions in the lives of almost everyone from the use of a smartphone, an interaction at the bank or turning on a light. These things happen with such ease that it’s easy to forget the importance of STEM education in making it all happen.
Embracing STEM education from an early age may be one of the most important initiatives for the longevity and success of the manufacturing industry. For too many years, the emphasis and interest in STEM have lagged behind actual need. A result of this disinterest resurrected itself in the skills gap the industry continues to deal with.
The manufacturing industry is not alone in this problem. Overall, there is a gap when it comes to applicants in most STEM-related fields. In fact, a 2009 United States Department of Labor list showed 8 out of 10 of the most-wanted employees were for jobs with degrees in the STEM field. These included computer science, accounting, electrical and civil engineering, finance and economics.
In an effort to interest students in STEM education and its many benefits at a young age, there is a recent push to introduce the magic of STEM to new generations. This includes programs dedicated to introducing girls to programming and businesses such as The Works at the Ohio Center for History, Art & Technology. The Newark, Ohio organization offers outreach programs supplying teachers with standards-aligned classroom activities, interactive museum exhibits and school tours with pre- and post-tour STEM activities. The overall goal is to show how there are elements of STEM in everyday life and that using and understanding these skills and elements opens up a new world of fun and discovery. This is one initiative that will be easy for the collective industry to promote and benefit from for years to come.
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