On a fairly regular basis, Eduflack reads some voice on social media lamenting that we are spending far too much time, as an education community, focused on discussions of science, technology, engineering, and math (or STEM) education). What about the humanities? What about passion? What about love? What about what about?
But we can’t overlook the importance of STEM education in our global, digital economy. Even the most romanticized of today’s poets need some STEM skills to remain relevant. One doesn’t need to be a rocket scientist or a surgeon to know that STEM literacy is just as important these days as literacy itself.
Over at US News & World Report, there is a new STEM Index for our reading, review, and reflection. Developed in partnership with Raytheon, the USNWR STEM Index “measures science, technology, engineering and mathematics activity in the United States relative to the year 2000.”
- Additionally, USNWR offers a wealth of analyses and opinions of what the numbers tell us. Some of the more noteworthy facts include:
- While the number of STEM bachelor’s degrees earned by Black college students increased 60 percent since 2000, the share actually shrunk compared to the overall number of bachelor’s degrees earned by Black students;
- STEM degrees earned by white students increased 10 percent, compared to overall bachelor’s degrees;
- Women still lag behind men in number of STEM degrees earned, exam scores, and general interest in STEM; and
- White and Asian students and college graduates overwhelmingly outperformed Black, Hispanic, and American Indian students in STEM degrees earned, exam scores, and general interest in STEM.
You can read more about the trends here.
The portfolio of STEM info from USNWR is definitely worth the read. And it is a further reminder of why STEM literacy is so important, whether one wants to be a physicist or a playwright.