STEM stands for “science, technology, engineering, and math,” and according to June Streckfus, executive director of the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education (MBRT), it’s “becoming the language of the economy.” Which would be fine except that last time we measured, only 45 percent of high school graduates in the U.S. were prepared for college-level math, and only 30 percent were prepared for college-level science.
Enter STEM Specialists in the Classroom, MBRT’s ever-expanding statewide initiative to bring professionals from Johns Hopkins’s Applied Physics Labratory, the Food and Drug Administration, the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and other organizations to Maryland high schools to convince students that they ought to hone their math and science skills if they want to find gainful employment in the emerging economy.
Teachers at STEM Innovation High Schools (of which there are currently 49) can cruise a database of STEM professionals who offer their expertise and practical experience to augment classroom instruction — a system that, once you hear of it, seems almost obvious. Why don’t we teach everything this way?
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