National STEM Day
Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, also referred to simply as STEM. In the era of digital transformation, these core education values are vital for people of all ages. In our work, academia, and even our personal lives, STEM is at the forefront of our daily routines and practices.
National STEM day, which takes place each year on November 8, is recognized in the U.S. after studies conducted in the early 2000s found U.S. students weren’t performing as well in STEM studies when compared to students of other countries. In 2006, the congressional STEM Education Caucus stated: “Our knowledge-based economy is driven by constant innovation. The foundation of innovation lies in a dynamic, motivated and well-educated workforce equipped with STEM skills.” Two years later, National STEM day was added to the calendar.
In 2018, the government released the STEM Education Strategic Plan, Charting a Course for Success: America’s Strategy for STEM Education, which depicts a five year plan for enhancing STEM education. The plan was built on three foundational pillars:
- Build strong foundations for STEM literacy,
- Increase diversity, equity and inclusion in STEM, and
- Prepare the STEM workforce for the future.
These initiatives followed the conversations surrounding the need for well-rounded, quality education access starting at an early age. By investing in this plan, the U.S. government is preparing our youth and citizens for rapid technological changes while providing better employment opportunities for everyone.
In 2020, the U.S. government released a Progress Report on the Implementation of the Federal STEM Education Strategic Plan. The report details the means of initiative implementation and found improvements and gaps that are being addressed as the plan still has two-and-a-half years to go. However, it was found “informal and extracurricular learning environments provide additional opportunities to incorporate convergent STEM practices.” This is being actively implemented in schools across the country, with more opportunities to participate in STEM activities, thus preparing students for the STEM-centered future.
More information on government initiatives for STEM education and employment can be found n the U.S. Department of Education website.
While we don’t have flying cars or time travel like the Jetsons or Back to the Future led us to hope for, there have been numerous breakthroughs in the world of STEM after the STEM Education Strategic Plan was released. For example, in the past two years, there have been more than 50 SpaceX Falcon launches, with more on the way.
Not to mention social media and virtual reality improvements. From Facebook’s foundation in 2004, to Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and the other platforms people have access to on their phones, social media is one of the fastest technological innovations of the century. People connect through social media from around the world and experience more than ever before via a small screen that can fit in their pocket.
Virtual reality has also changed the way we look at training and education, particularly in the realm of health or other high-risk jobs. Surgeries can be virtually practiced without risk to a patient while also reducing medicinal wastes. In addition, pilots can accelerate their training with virtual reality flight simulations, again saving resources and, in some cases, lives.
STEM at INE
So what does this mean for INE? At INE, we’re committed to the continued education of IT professionals, which is inherently rooted in STEM disciplines. Cyber Security, Cloud, Networking, and Data Science all revolve around technological improvements. We adapt our training as technology evolves, allowing each of our students and business partners to innovate and react to changes in their field with well-rounded, hands-on experiences.
Technology, being the primary focus area of our lessons, is where we encourage students to thrive and explore. And while most observers of STEM day will be in academic institutions, we encourage all of you to find what passion of yours is based in the STEM ideals.
No matter your skill level, INE provides best-in-class IT training that brings you where you want to go in your career. Get involved in STEM today, and join the INE community to pursue your technology education dreams your way.