A small crowd gathered around eighth-grade science teacher
Reid and 10 other
During the three-week program the teachers worked alongside some of the top professionals in their respective industries and were able to see how those professionals apply the basic principals they teach in their classes each day.
"We really got personal with the engineers, getting an understanding of what students coming from middle school and high school need to know in a corporate world," Reid said.
Along with the need for a mastery of core basics in science and math, the teachers also saw the need for every student to master skills in teamwork, communication and problem solving. At a wrap-up event hosted by
"The thing that struck me the most in the time I spent at
STEM education has become a major national focus in education. Over the next 10 years, job growth in STEM industries is expected to be around 17 percent, nearly 7 percent higher than expected job creation for non-STEM businesses, according to a
U.S. students are currently behind the curve. The National Math + Science Initiative found in 2011 that only 45 percent of high school graduates were prepared for college-level math and only 30 percent were ready for college-level science. The achievement gap between student demographics is also a concern in STEM education. Nine percent of Hispanic students and 10 percent of African-American students took advanced algebra or calculus in 2008, compared to 22 percent of white students and 43 percent of Asian students.
"If our students are going to compete in the globally economy then our teachers have to know what that looks like what employers need," said
Plans for next year's STEM Fellows are already underway, officials said, with a goal of expanding both the number of fellowships offered and the number of participating companies.
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