If you have children in school you’ve no doubt heard of the acronym STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics. The reason for this is that, while scientists, engineers, and mathematicians develop important innovations in our world, interest in these fields among our nation’s young people has been on a steady decline.
President Obama launched the Educate to Innovate Initiative in 2009 with the goal of moving our students from the middle to the top of the pack in terms of science and math achievement. There is little doubt that something must be done; in a world that is ever changing, with technology becoming more and more dominant, we want our children to be the ones spearheading discovery and making a name for themselves and for the US as a whole.
Besides making a name for themselves, and doing our country proud, there lies another incentive that bears mentioning: money. Jobs in STEM-related fields currently account for about 10% of jobs in the US, but are projected to grow by 17% by 2018, and many of them pay double the average US salary according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Top 20 Best Paying STEM Jobs
For recent college graduates, by median pay, according to Forbes
1. Drilling Engineer: $113,900
2. Petroleum Engineer: $97,300
3. Mining Engineer: $71,300
4. Technology Analyst: $67,500
5. Welding Engineer: $67,500
6. Chemical Engineer: $65,900
7. Network Security Analyst: $64,000
8. Computer Hardware Engineer: $62,900
9. Manufacturing Engineer: $62,600
10. Electrical Engineer: $61,900
11. Clinical Informatics Specialist: $61,400
12. Software Developer: $61,300
13. Forensic Accountant: $59,300
14. Mechanical Engineer: $59,000
15. Clinical Data Analyst: $58,500
16. Field Engineer, Construction: $57,400
17. Industrial Engineer: $57,300
18. Clinical Research Associate (CRA): $56,500
19. Biomedical Engineer: $56,200
20. Quantitative Analyst: $56,100
Demand for graduates in STEM disciplines is growing and if our young people don’t take those open spots then others surely will. Not surprisingly, there’s a disparity in terms of gender and race, as well. Seeing the need, in June 2016 the National PTA announced an exciting partnership with Mathnasium, the math-only learning center committed to teaching math in a way that makes sense. See the National PTA’s news release below. We find ourselves at a critical point in time; let’s help our students rise to the top and meet their full potential.
ALEXANDRIA, Va., (June 16, 2016)—National PTA is pleased to announce it has joined forces with Mathnasium as part of its science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and family engagement initiative. With more than 650 learning and enrichment centers nationwide, Mathnasium helps make math come alive for students across all ages and ability levels. Through this collaboration, Mathnasium will support National PTA in the development and deployment of resources, activities and events that engage students and families in STEM—particularly math—experiences.
“Through its personalized programs, Mathnasium seeks to make math fun and understandable for every child,” said Laura Bay, president of National PTA. “We are thrilled to have Mathnasium join our STEM initiative and collaborate to engage families and inspire children’s love of math.”
National PTA launched its STEM education and family engagement initiative in fall 2015 with the founding support of Bayer USA Foundation. The goals of the initiative are to fill a critical gap in STEM education, increase access to STEM experiences for all students and inspire the next generation of STEM professionals.
“We know—and decades of research proves—that family engagement is essential to children’s achievement. We also know that families play an important role in helping students navigate educational and career decisions and are influencers of students’ perceptions of what’s possible for their futures,” said Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “Family engagement is critical to strengthen STEM education, support student success in STEM and inspire children to pursue STEM careers.”
Through the initiative, 100,000 STEM experiences will be delivered over the next three years that engage entire families in hands-on activities—both in schools and at home. The effort will include a focus on urban areas and among girls and underrepresented youth.
“Mathnasium is proud and honored to forge an alliance with National PTA. As a founding sponsor of National PTA’s STEM initiative, we’re especially excited to help PTA inspire the next generation of STEM professionals and help lay the foundation for the association to deliver 100,000 STEM experiences for families in communities and schools across the country,” said Peter Markovitz, founder and chief executive officer of Mathnasium. “This invaluable opportunity to collaborate with dedicated educators and parent leaders heralds an exciting new chapter for our company as we carry out our mission to help every child understand—and master—math.”
National PTA will continue expanding its initiative through collaborations with other sponsors representing the “T” and “E” in the STEM acronym as well as through existing and new alliances with education and industry leaders working across all STEM disciplines.
About National PTA
National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c) (3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth.
Mathnasium, the nation’s leading math-only learning center franchise, specializes in teaching kids math in a way that makes sense to them. The result of 40+ years of instruction and research, the Mathnasium Method has transformed the way children understand and appreciate math—whether they’re ahead of the curve, performing at grade level, or falling behind. Franchising since 2003, Mathnasium has become one of the fastest-growing educational franchises, with a new center opening each week. There are more than 700 Mathnasium franchises in the U.S. and abroad. For more information, visit http://www.mathnasium.com or call 1-877-601-MATH.