For many years, people viewed it as the responsibility of the education system to cultivate an interest in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. However, as the STEAM education movement has grown and evolved, organizations all over the globe have taken interest. Why? Because the numbers speak for themselves. STEAM career fields expect a shortage of workers in as little as five years. However, it appears that this problem is not because students are disinterested in STEAM.
About The STEAM Education Gap
The Problem In STEAM Education
According to US News, new information reveals that the projected deficiency for STEM-related careers is not due to a lack of students studying science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. The issue appears to be that students studying in these fields do not graduate with the skills that are necessary to work STEAM jobs.
The Solution To The STEAM Education Problem
Organizations across the globe have jumped into action to resolve this issue. While the first step is most assuredly fostering an interest in STEAM education, the next step is providing relevant tools to students studying STEAM.
So how are organizations helping to bridge the gap? The strategies vary, but one trend is becoming clear: Organizations are not willing to depend on a change within the education system. Instead, these organizations are offering STEAM education opportunities that will teach students usable skills. These learning experiences allow students to take their education and apply it in real-world ways.
Organizations That Are Actively Working To Resolve The STEAM Gap
Many companies like Verizon have taken the approach of creating content that brings awareness to the STEAM problem, addressing in particular the shortage of women in STEM-related careers (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XP3cyRRAfX0). Companies like AT&T, Cummins,Toyota, Chase, Motorola, and many more have taken the approach of providing scholarships or funding for STEAM education projects at schools. The number of companies supporting STEAM has grown, allowing schools the opportunity to embrace project based learning without having to fund it themselves.
Groups like the Carnegie Science Center and have taken an active approach to resolving the STEAM gap. Since the issue lies in the application of STEAM education, science centers are looking at project-based learning opportunities that allow students to learn real-world applications of their STEAM skills. Recently, the Carnegie Science Center even partnered with StratoStar to launch a weather balloon to the edge of space in celebration of their Girls Rock Science Weekend. Science centers across the globe are following suit, implementing programs and creating events that will teach students how their skills can be used.
Take a look at StratoStar’s Twitter feed. We find all kinds of amazing articles coming out about STEAM topics on the daily. Tons of groups from National Geographic to NASA to PBS to the Discovery Channel are embracing online journalism and learning tools for students. These hands-on digital learning tools are not just actively fostering an interest in STEAM fields, they also serve to show students real-world applications of STEAM.
How You Can Make A Difference
Many parents and educators do not accept the real-world applications of STEAM taking place ONLY outside the context of school. School administrators everywhere are learning the value of teaching students applicable skills.
If you are thinking of ways to help students learn real-world STEAM skills, a project with StratoStar is a great solution. We offer a lot of online tools to help schools get started, and if you are interested in bringing a project to your school, we can schedule a 10 minute call.
Not sure how a weather balloon project from StratoStar teaches impactful skills? Check out our virtual weather balloon launch, which will show you how a weather balloon project works from start to finish.