STEM Study Released: Opportunities to Close the Gap

By: Tina Shaffer

Thank you to all of the educators who participated in the STEM research project in Spring 2015 through the Research Consortium on STEM Career Pathways, formed by Destination Imagination, National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity, National Girls Collaborative, and the Educational Research Center of America.

This important research project was designed to help students, families, teachers and guidance counselors better understand students’ perspectives on STEM careers, as well as to identify opportunities, challenges, and promising practices for leveraging equity to meet STEM workforce needs.

Fifty-one percent of the 7,325 high school students surveyed believe that STEM courses are “very” or “extremely” important to their careers. However, there is a gap in attracting and retaining underrepresented groups in STEM. Solutions to help bridge this gap include:

Creative Learning—Students are roughly 30 percent more confident in their STEM career abilities when creative learning is part of their classroom experience.

Extracurricular STEM Activities—Link students’ in-school STEM curriculum experiences with out-of-school-time activities that spark and reinforce their interest, discovery, persistence and creativity in STEM.

Equal Opportunities—Ensure that all students have STEM courses available to them in their high schools at the right level to prepare them for future success.

To view the final report, click here.

STEM study infographic