Science, technology, engineering and mathematics make up the core components of STEM curricula in today’s schools. Combined, these subjects are designed to introduce science and related subject matter in order to improve students’ ability to grasp higher concepts in classical and life sciences, computer science, design, information technology, data analysis and many other components that play key roles in the modern labor market.
Why Are Elementary, Middle And High School Science Classes Important?
Aside from providing students with a general education for the application of science principles in everyday living, K-12 science classes help to prepare students for the future. Technology has undoubtedly changed the employment landscape across the United States and the world.
Without a formal background in STEM subjects, students may be unprepared to meet the challenges of tomorrow, resulting in fewer job opportunities and less progress for society overall.
Additionally, the United States as a nation must remain competitive as global trade is now the norm. Countries must demonstrate that they have the labor force necessary to attract large companies to build headquarters facilities, manufacturing plants, corporate offices and more. If the United States fails to prepare students with a solid science background, corporate entities may seek out other countries with which to do business.
This is further complicated by the fact that global commerce and business can be conducted online in many cases, meaning workers in the United States will often find themselves competing for jobs against candidates from around the world.
Improving Resources For The Student And Science Educator
While educating students is the main focus of STEM initiatives, educators must also be encouraged and empowered to provide a foundational education in subjects related to science. STEM initiatives may include grants that can be applied directly to the procurement of resources that achieve these goals, and the federal government along with many states are also funding STEM initiatives for public schools to give educators the resources they need to prepare students.
Science classes in elementary school require technology equipment to allow young students to become comfortable and familiar with computer equipment. Science topics for middle school will need to be taught using technology and Internet-connected equipment to provide educators and students with more efficient methods of learning.
Science classes in high school will require more advanced technology and science laboratories to strengthen prior lessons and offer real-world training that will be useful at the university level and in the workforce.
Will A Science Background Be Necessary For Future Employment?
While not all jobs will require a STEM education in the future, more and more industries are relying on technology and computer science to get things done. Even if someone doesn’t work directly with science in their day-to-day work routine, there’s a good chance that the work they do involves some type of connected computer technology elsewhere within the vertical.
As such, holding a STEM degree or having a background in STEM subjects may not be a requirement for employment in the future, but having these credentials and education will certainly provide an advantage to job seekers. Many employers are taking a key interest in STEM investment for employees, and job seekers may become more attractive if they can demonstrate STEM abilities when applying for a role.
In fact, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has created a program to allow foreign students additional time to study in the United States through an F-1 visa extension. As part of this initiative, international students may be able to extend their visas by an additional 12 months to take part in the DHS Optional Practical Training (OPT) program.
This program allows students to gain real-world experience and training in STEM fields, and it may assist U.S. employers in finding candidates from other countries to work within the United States.