The purpose of this blog is to explore Louisiana's strategy and capacity for advancing STEM education, careers, and workforce for all. Louisiana has its own array of STEM assets, strengths and approaches in place - thus this site is designed to discover these strategies and activities. Not just a PK12 issue - all stakeholders, higher education, workforce development, economic development, business & industry, are welcome to participate. Hopefully the site will pose and answer questions that will ultimately help guide and focus diverse partners in this effort.

Friday, June 14, 2013

LPB to Host "Status of STEM in Louisiana" Public Square Meeting

I applaud Louisiana Public Broadcasting for initiating this long overdue topic!  (See description below)

About a year ago I started this blog for the same reason. Meaningful dialog, such as this from all sectors (well-represented workforce, nonprofit, and governmental leaders and education voices, combined with STEM-knowledgeable experts) is essential to establish a Louisiana STEM agenda that could impact many programs leading to much needed STEM talent development described.  

After seven years of working in the STEM education arena in Texas, I learned that the following were critical:

1.  Cohesive strategy and alignment (business, academic and non-academic)
2.  Advocacy for higher science and math standards or adoption of engineering standards in K12
3.  Increased support for inspirational STEM learning opportunities (during AND beyond the school day), such as projects, internships, and mentorships for high school and post-secondary students that provide key exposure to STEM professionals
4.  Teacher education reform such as UTEACH and many others around the state that stress project-based pedagogy and technology
5.  Parent/community awareness building
6.  Support of high-need, cutting-edge associate’s degree programs
7.  And of course, resource allocation for facilities, technology, curriculum, or teaching resources for PK16 classrooms.

Tune in and be a part of the conversation!  “STEM Status: Science, Technology, Engineering & Math in Louisiana” airing Wednesday, June 26 at 7 p.m. on LPB
 
A How can Louisiana better equip its citizens for future STEM positions?

Occupations in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) are projected to grow by nearly 10% over the next five years. Experts estimate Louisiana alone will have 69,000 STEM job vacancies by 2018. But who will fill these positions?

Nationwide, more than 300,000 jobs are currently being left vacant because employers can’t find individuals skilled enough in STEM. In Louisiana, 40% of eighth-graders report never designing a science project. Only 3% of high-school seniors take advance college placement tests in science. While male students have shown a recent increased interest in STEM, Louisiana females’ interest has been decreasing since 2008.

So, how can Louisiana better equip its citizens for future STEM positions? Are Louisiana’s educators adequately prepared to teach STEM courses? And how can students be encouraged to pursue STEM careers? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers to these questions and more on “STEM Status: Science, Technology, Engineering & Math in Louisiana” airing Wednesday, June 26 at 7 p.m. on LPB HD.

This program is made possible in part through a grant from Dow Chemical Company.