The T in STEM

The T in STEM

A couple of weeks ago the New York Times had article Where the STEM jobs Are (and Where They Aren’t).  As a former science teacher and now a technology specialist I am acutely aware the difference between the S in STEM and the T.  Even the T takes on multiple meanings.  Engineering technology and Computer Science related technology. I have noticed as many grants come out to support STEM and schools announce their renewed focus on STEM there is not much being done about adding new computer science and information technology into the curriculum.  Schools enhance existing science,  engineering/technology classes or add resources to maker spaces.  Don’t get me wrong I am excited to see these improve and expand opportunities to more students but I have not seen a real increase in CS and IT offerings.

The largest demands for STEM related jobs in CS. Burning glass shows a high demand for these jobs in MA. The growth of K12 education in these fields has declined in the last decades ,my assumptions are this is due to the increase in high stakes testing. Now as in all things education we will cycle back around refocus on CS.  Massachusetts released DL and CS standards in 2016 and there will be a content teaching license for DL & CS grades 5-12 available this December. Now that the foundation is laid (frameworks and license) I hope courses will begin to be built and added to school curriculums. We do our students a disservice in not preparing them for a fast growing segment of the STEM economy.

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