Whether it’s our annual Arizona SciTech Festival or Chief Science Officers program, the SciTech Institute has been successful in getting a new generation excited about taking the lead in the next generation of our state’s workforce.
As it turns out, the Institute (previously known as the Arizona Technology Council Foundation) is totally in synch with a new initiative to take the lessons of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and use them to benefit the entire nation.
“Charting a Course for Success: America’s Strategy for STEM Education” is a report just issued by the Committee on STEM Education of the National Science & Technology Council. Its purpose is to offer a federal strategy based on a vision for a future where all Americans will have lifelong access to high-quality STEM education and the nation will be the global leader in STEM literacy, innovation and employment.
I was fortunate to be a member of the group that helped develop this 5-year STEM education strategic plan during the State-Federal STEM Education Summit hosted during the summer by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Also nominated by Gov. Doug Ducey to attend the two-day meeting was Sandra Watson, president and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority, a council partner that has been heavily in involved in STEM workforce development.
According to the report, this vision for the future will be achieved by pursuing three critical goals:
• Build strong foundations for STEM literacy by ensuring every American has the opportunity to master basic STEM concepts, including computational thinking, and to become digitally literate. Private and public sector employers can provide the most authentic lessons in digital ethics, online information analysis and cyber safety. Elected officials along with community nonprofits and professional organizations are well positioned to heighten the urgency of this priority among constituencies and members.