STEM Education: a Federal Priority for the New Year

STEMSTEM education is a priority for the Obama Administration in the coming years, the White House announced on Monday, December 24th. According to the official statement, this latest initiative seeks to increase the current amount of undergraduate students receiving STEM degrees by 34% before 2020. This number is equivalent to about 1 million additional STEM graduates.

The announcement cited the desire of the US to “maintain its global preeminence” in the fields of STEM- science, technology, engineering, and math- as the motivation for the programs prioritization. America’s competitiveness is on the decline, as discussed by PAGE earlier this year. Encouraging a wider community of educated workers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math is vital to filling the needs of the nation.

In order to achieve this objective, the “Federal Government will work with education partners to improve the quality of STEM education at all levels”. There are no further details as to the specific strategies the government seeks to employ, or the funding this initiative will take. Currently, federal spending on STEM is primarily funded through the National Science Foundation, the Department of Education, and the Health and Human Services Department and totals approximately $3.4 billion annually.

During his first term President Obama has launched other STEM initiatives, such as Educate to Innovate, which may be coordinated under this over-arching goal.

Posted by: Sophia Higgins

Sources: the White HouseEducate to InnovateSTEM Reports

Photo Credit: Get back to work!! @ photostream courtesy of Flickr user Robotkiss

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