STE(A)M Education: Advocacy Efforts to Revive an Innovation Economy
November 10, 2017

In its recent report, “Preparing the Children of Today for the Jobs of Tomorrow: A Window into STEM Education in New Jersey,” JerseyCAN reminds us that the Garden State was arguably the original center for innovation and scientific progress. Home to Thomas Edison and Bell Labs, New Jersey does have a rich history in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) leadership. Why, then, is there a “growing skills gap between students interested and prepared for the growing STEM job sector”?

In order to get a better picture of the STEM landscape in New Jersey, JerseyCAN conducted a listening tour with over 70 individuals and organizations (including schools). The most compelling examples of innovation in K-12 STEM education in the state are highlighted in the report, which also focuses on the importance of equity and where programs are getting it right. Equipped with this information on the breadth and depth of the landscape, JerseyCAN and its partners also offer several important recommendations on how to advance K-12 STEM education in the state. Recommendations include expanding access to learning opportunities in STEM fields, leveraging personalized and blended learning, and implementing targeted STEM strategies for women and underrepresented minorities.

The Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education (GPEE) took a similar approach to educate the public about STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) efforts in Georgia. They created a STEAM Asset Map to visually show where investments in STEM and STEAM education exist across the state. Data in the map is useful for students, families, and educators as they look to engage in STEAM programs. GPEE and its partners also hope the map will drive further investment by the philanthropic and business communities in STEM and STEAM education in the Peach State.

If you’d like to connect about these approaches and tools, or know of other efforts to advance STE(A)M education, please reach out.

Sarah Grunewald

Sarah is PIE Network's Deputy Executive Director, Program Strategy

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