Why STEM in afterschool?
"There is an urgent need to improve science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills among U.S. students."
Nearly 80% of future careers will require some STEM skills. A stimulating STEM education is essential for developing the basic analytical, problem-solving and critical thinking skills central to academic achievement and workforce readiness in the 21st century.
Schools can't tackle this issue by themselves.
Children spend less than 20% of their waking hours in school. Afterschool programs offer both additional time and the opportunity to diversify the ways that students experience STEM learning.
Afterschool programs complement and supplement school-day learning and are well-positioned to engage and motivate participants. By offering innovative hands-on, project-based learning, STEM fields come alive for youth.
High-quality STEM afterschool programs produce positive outcomes:
- Improved attitudes toward STEM fields and careers
- Increased STEM capacities and skills
- Higher likelihood of graduation and pursuing a STEM career
Committed Partners in STEM Education
With generous support from the Noyce Foundation, three of the nation's leading afterschool and summer learning organizations are joining forces in a collaborative effort to promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) learning during the out-of-school hours
New Mexico STEM Network
The challenge: In 2010, 12% of all jobs required at least a bachelor’s degree in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Additionally, due to technological innovations, the line between non-STEM and STEM jobs is blurring (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015). The Alliance for Science and Technology Research in America (ASTRA) predicts that between 2015-2024, New Mexico will create more than 8 million STEM jobs. Course remediation is at an all-time high in New Mexico, and employers state that young adults lack core competencies upon graduation. Our students are not being equipped with the skills they need to succeed in college and career.
What we do: The New Mexico STEM Network employs design principles to accelerate STEM student achievement and drive STEM workforce development in New Mexico:
- CORPORATE ENGAGEMENT: Industry will drive our workforce; public-private partnerships are essential to implementing effective STEM education development models.
- INCLUSIVITY: STEM skills must be desirable and attainable for all New Mexico’s citizens regardless of demographic, geographic or socioeconomic backgrounds.
- SCALABILITY: Expansion of successful activities will be facilitated if systems are designed in anticipation of growth and future needs. The NM STEM Network identifies evidence-based and scalable STEM teaching and learning practices.
- SUSTAINABLE PARTNERSHIPS: True partnership among all stakeholders committed to transforming and advancing STEM education is necessary for success and long term sustainability.
- REAL-WORLD RELEVANCE: STEM education initiatives emphasize team and project-based learning inspired by problems and challenges we face in our everyday lives.
How we do it: Established in 2010, the New Mexico STEM Network continues to move successful STEM initiatives that are transforming STEM in New Mexico, including:
- REGIONAL INNOVATION HUBS: Regional Hubs are the proof points for the NM STEM Network. Hubs utilize the best resources of the region in order to transform education by engaging schools with business, higher education and outside institutions to provide students with the tools they need to succeed.
- TRANSFORMING THE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT: Through digital learning, online and dual-credit course development, and investment in out-of-school time initiatives, the NM STEM Network seeks to remove limits to “when, where and how” learning can occur.
- POLICY DEVELOPMENT AND ADVOCACY: The NM STEM Network engages policy-makers at the federal, state and local level in supporting student success in STEM.