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Something is seriously wrong with STEM

from U.S. News & World Report

Data reviewed at the U.S. News STEM Solutions conference creates cause for major concern: Fewer than four in ten college students who intend to major in a math- or science-based field actually stick with it. And of the less than 40% who do declare a STEM major, only 25% earn a STEM-related degree; i.e., of those who say "A STEM career's for me," only one in ten do it. The attrition rate is even worse for minorities and women, who represent just a fraction of first- and second-year college students studying in STEM-related fields (only 2,000 women and 1,150 Latinos receive STEM degrees each year). At the conference, a "Bridging the Gap: Overcoming STEM Fatigue" panel identified a range of solutions, including:
  • mentor students starting in middle-school,
  • increase diversity in STEM-related classrooms,
  • engage college freshmen in hands-on "experiential learning,"
  • create school-to-school and school-to-industry partnerships to provide additional learning opportunities and guidance, and
  • develop more hands-on programs, like Engineers Without Borders, to keep first- and second-year college students engaged in their STEM disciplines.

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