Tapping America's Potential Our Goal: Increase the annual number of U.S. science, technology, engineering and mathematics bachelor's-level graduates to 400,000 degrees by 2015.
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The momentum for improving U.S. STEM capabilities is building, with opinion leaders and editorial boards opining in support of reform and newsrooms writing about it across the country.

Read these opinions, the latest news coverage and news from TAP in this section.


Editorial and Op-ed Support

May 10, 2017 — U.S. News & World Report (Opinion) — “Students Shouldn't Live in STEM Deserts”
More than ever, a high-quality math and science education is the foundation for opportunity … Yet, we as a nation continue with a familiar pattern in which access to high-quality STEM learning is unevenly distributed. Millions of students across the country live in what we call STEM deserts – school communities without access to rigorous and engaging math and science courses. Lack of STEM access is a critical equity issue in education, particularly for students in urban and rural communities, where access to high-level math and science courses is often out of reach. Soon, the impact of students living in STEM deserts will not only be reflected in those students’ high school and college competition rates, but will also take a toll on the country’s technological superiority, its economy and national security.

May 03, 2017 — HuffPost (Opinion) — “Cinco de Mayo: A Major Milestone for Computer Science Education”
Friday, May 5th, as many Americans are celebrating the Mexican holiday with food, drink and friends, an estimated 51K high school students will be sitting down to take the first ever Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles (AP-CSP) exam …The AP-CSP course and exam are the result of nearly ten years of dogged work by hundreds of education advocates, researchers, and high school teachers … The course focuses on computational thinking and problem solving, use of computational tools to analyze and study data, societal implications of computing such as security and privacy, and is unique in its focus on fostering students creativity by using computing to address issues relevant to their lives.

November 17, 2016 — U.S. News & World Report (Opinion) — “To Close Gap in STEM Pipeline, Engage Families”
The U.S. Department of Commerce reports that science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs will grow 17 percent by 2018. And the growth in STEM jobs will be 55 percent faster than non-STEM jobs over the next 10 years. Although such anticipated growth is encouraging since it supports the theory that a thriving STEM workforce is directly linked to the economic prosperity of the United States, there is still concern: as many as 2.4 million STEM jobs could remain unfilled in the nation by that time. Is there a solution to help drive our nation's youth into these fast-growing STEM fields and meet the demand for qualified STEM professionals? According to a new report issued by National PTA, families are the answer.

November 16, 2016 — Fortune (Opinion) — “How American Manufacturers Are Working to Close the 'Skills Gap’”
American manufacturers are leading an innovation revolution, transforming the products we make and how we make them. Boasting the globe’s most productive workforce, abundant energy and unparalleled technical capabilities, our country is poised to advance the promise of manufacturing in America. Companies are creating jobs in the United States, and foreign enterprises are investing at record levels. The manufacturing economy is $2 trillion strong and supports about one in six American jobs. The entire world wants the products of manufacturing in the United States, from internet-connected electronics to lifesaving pharmaceuticals. The only missing piece—the next generation of skilled workers who will take up the mantle of manufacturing and transform the future.

September 16, 2016 — Wall Street Journal (Opinion) — “STEM Literacy and Jobs”
… [S]tudents don’t often appreciate the difference between achieving a modicum of STEM literacy and pursuing a STEM profession. Many avoid taking STEM courses because they have no intention of majoring in a STEM discipline. While everyone agrees that basic literacy is critical for just about any job, we don’t quite have the same level of appreciation that being STEM literate is increasingly important to qualify for a wide variety of jobs in our information-based knowledge economy.

Editorial and Op-ed Support Archive

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News Coverage

June 06, 2017 — The Christian Science Monitor — “Can female mentors patch the leaky STEM pipeline?”
As a freshman, Stephanie Mula found the University of Massachusetts's engineering program "overwhelming.” … Nevertheless, she went on to beat the odds of the famously leaky science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) pipeline that produces only three professionals for every 100 female students who begin studies in the field. … She credits her success in part to the academic and professional advice of her upperclassmen mentor, a participant in a UMASS Amherst pilot program that's revealing significant benefits for same-gender peer mentoring. … An astonishing 100 percent of female engineering students in the study mentored by advanced female students continued on to their second year, a transition point that often sees many choose a different path. Researchers concluded successful female role models made the difference, stemming the decline in self-confidence seen among those with male mentors or no mentor at all. The results, published April in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest identity may play a role in effective mentoring, which could inform programs targeting other underrepresented groups.

May 30, 2017 — Education Dive — “Armed Forces see STEM education as ensuring a bright future”
Employers in fields that utilize science, technology, engineering and mathematics have consistently sounded a warning bell about the future of STEM in the United States, cautioning that there is a coming gap in qualified applicants for employers. The rates of STEM graduates are not keeping up with the amount of job openings in related fields, and the issue could worsen, as the U.S. will add about one million new STEM jobs by 2020. … Further research in 2015 indicated that the gaps are even more pronounced between genders and ethnicities, and while STEM jobs and degrees have steadily increased since 2000, the STEM workforce was no more diverse than it was 14 years prior. The U.S. Armed Forces, including the Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP), have responded to the gap by leveraging their civilian scientists, engineers and laboratories. The branches host learning sessions and competitions and promote mentorships between students and employees with jobs pertaining to STEM throughout the country.

May 27, 2017 — U.S. News & World Report — “Community Colleges Filling STEM Pipeline”
Community colleges are playing an increasingly important role in providing students the science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, skills they need for the thousands of jobs employers are having a hard time filling. … But as companies are beginning to require more technological know-how even from their entry-level employees, community colleges are increasingly focusing on helping students who aren't planning to get four-year degrees, and instead are looking for two-year and other certificates programs. "As we look at the growth in jobs, a lot of the jobs will not require a college degree, but they will require a STEM education," said Debra Reed, chairman, president and CEO of Sempra Energy.

May 25, 2017 — U.S. News & World Report — “Low-Income Students Nowhere to Be Found in STEM”
While much of the focus on underrepresented students in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, is placed on women and students of color, the dearth of low-income students has Moore [dean of Carnegie Mellon University's School of Computer Science] and his colleagues at Carnegie Mellon "terrified," he says. … "If you look at where we admit students who are going to have the most amazing careers you can imagine, you can pretty much map that against a map of the suburbs of regions of the United States which are rich enough to have strong math and computer science programs," Moore said. He continued: "This is very, very serious. We are genuinely worried that we are responsible for being part of an ongoing hegemony of the rich, wealthy – those being able to afford to live in the places where they can teach their kids to do that.” Moore says Carnegie has not homed in on the answer, but is considering ways to provide a more "gentle" introduction to students who lack a robust STEM background because their schools don't offer rigorous math and science courses.

April 26, 2017 — GeekWire — “By age 6, kids already think boys are better than girls in programming and robotics”
There’s a lot of effort to attract women to the computer sciences at universities and the workforce. But to shift technology’s gender imbalance we might need to focus on a younger crowd. Much younger — like 6-year-olds. For the first time, research from the University of Washington shows that by first grade, children are already embracing the stereotype that boys are better than girls at robotics and programming … But there is some good news. If you give a girl a robot and some simple tools for programming it, her feelings about computer sciences will be more positive.

News Coverage Archive

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TAP News

May 22, 2013 ITIF Tells the 'Real Story' of America's STEM Workforce
May 06, 2013 High Starting Salaries for STEM Majors Indicate Too Few Graduates to Meet Demand in These Fields
April 26, 2013 'Power and Potential' of STEM on Display at White House Science Fair
August 03, 2012 ‘National Research Universities Are Our Secret Weapons,’ Says Accenture Executive Chairman

TAP News Archive

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