STEM Education Must Start in Early Childhood
According to a 2010 survey by Change the Equation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan corporate initiative to further math and science learning, nearly one-third of Americans would rather clean their bathrooms than do a math problem. In a globally competitive economy, with employers of all shapes and sizes increasingly seeking workers skilled in science, technology, engineering, and math, this is humorous and more than a little troubling. Investing to ensure a pipeline of workers skilled in STEM competencies is a workforce issue, an economic-development issue, and a business imperative. And the best way to ensure return on these investments is to start fostering these skills in young children.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to define a STEM "job." Regardless of the industry—manufacturing, utilities, construction, technology, financial services—employers are looking for a talent pipeline that can produce workers proficient in the STEM disciplines. Concepts at the heart of STEM—curiosity, creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking—are in demand. They also happen to be innate in young children.
As employers look at the workforce pipeline over time, they ask themselves a simple question: Where are we...
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