Despite steady gains in mathematics and science achievement, fewer than 75 percent of 2012 Texas high school graduates demonstrated college readiness in math, based on Texas Success Initiative indicators. Even fewer African-American (59 percent), Hispanic (68 percent), and economically disadvantaged (63 percent) students demonstrated the proficiency levels required for success in college level math. At the same time, national studies show the fastest growing high skill/high wage careers require a higher level of science, technology, engineering and math — or STEM — skills.
Quality STEM education, however, is not just about focusing on math and science and the related jobs, but instead teaches our kids the critical thinking, innovation and problem-solving skills all parents aspire to have their children learn. STEM classes and activities like FIRST Robotics not only increase rigor in the classroom, but excite teachers and ignite the natural enthusiasm and creativity for learning in all children. STEM curriculum reinforces the value of real-life practicum as well, engaging students in “hands-on” projects and assignments just like they will encounter in the workplace.
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