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An Overview of President Obama's 2015 Stem-Education Plan

Listen to this horrifying statistic: Only 16 percent of American high school students are interested in a STEM career.

We all know STEM education is important and needs to be widely taught, but what are we actually doing to implement STEM education into children’s classrooms? We recently read President Obama’s proposal, the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education in the 2015 Budget, supplied by whitehouse.gov. President Obama hopes to prepare 1 million more STEM college graduates over the next ten years.

The Federal STEM Education 5-Year Strategic Plan focuses on five key areas:

1.K-12 instruction

2.Undergraduate Education

3.Graduate Education

4.Broadening Participation in STEM education and careers by women and minorities traditionally underrepresented in these fields.

5.Education activities that typically take place outside the classroom.

The United States economy has thrived in large part because of its scientists, engineers, and innovators. However, STEM-related fields are oftentimes given a bad reputation and few students pursue these fields, resulting in an inadequate number of scientists and engineers. President Obama has set a priority of increasing awareness of STEM-related carriers and opportunities, claiming “…Leadership tomorrow depends on how we educate our students today—especially in science, technology, engineering and math.”

  • The budget invests $2.9 billion, an increase of 3.7 percent of the 2014 level in programs across the Federal Government on STEM education.
  • A proposed $40 million will be used to support the President’s goal of preparing 100,000 STEM teachers over the next ten years and $20 million to launch STEM Master Teacher Corps, “a new effort enlisting some of America’s best and brightest science and math teachers that will help improve instruction in their schools and districts, and to serve as a national resource for best practices in math and science teaching.”—White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
  • $110 million to create new STEM Innovation Networks to better connect school districts with local, reginonal, and national resources to transform K-12 STEM teaching and learning.
  • $150 million to be used for redesigning high schools to focus on providing students with challenging, relevant learning experiences.
  • With the National Science Foundation, $118 million to improve retention of undergraduate STEM majors and improve undergraduate instruction. The budget hopes to implement “evidence-based instructional practices, expand the evidence base, and support research on how new technologies can facilitate adoption and use of new approaches to instruction”as well as a program “to provide early opportunities to conduct research, which can be especially influential in maintaining a student’s interest in science, engineering, and mathematics.”
  • $50 million for the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Education (ARPA-ED), through which the Department of Education would support high-risk, high-return research on learning innovations and technologies, including STEM education.
  • In addition, the Institute of Education Services and the National Science Foundation are collaborating on the Virtual Learning Laboratory initiative, a project aiming to discover better way to help students master important concepts in STEM-fields. President Obama hopes to connect 99 percent of American students to the digital age through high-speed wireless in schools and libraries.
  • President Obama believes we need to give more children engaging STEM experiences that show them the potential of high-wage careers in STEM-fields. He hosted the first-ever White House Science Fair and the first-ever White House Maker Faire to help more children access the tools and skills necessary to pursue careers in design, advanced manufacturing, and related STEM-fields.

     

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