Is the U.S. Focusing Too Much on STEM?

STEM ChalkboardFrom The Atlantic: In late October, Alaska Airlines pledged a $1 million donation to a science and engineering program to educate up to 650 Alaska native middle schoolers. “Our goal is to make sure that as many students as possible who want to attend this program have the opportunity,” said Marilyn Romano, an Alaska Airlines executive. When asked what benefit the airline receives by making this donation, spokesman Tim Thompson said that stronger communities make for a better “potential employee base” for all of Alaska—and, presumably, Alaska Airlines—further down the line.

This is just one example of the many investments and initiatives around the world with the shared goal of exposing more students to the science, technology, engineering, and math—STEM for short. For schools, governments, non-profits, and corporations alike, an emphasis on STEM efforts shows that they are keeping up with the needs of today’s students. As I have worked on a series of stories for The Atlantic about this topic, almost every organization I contact tries to get me to publicize other STEM initiatives they are working on. My Google alert for “STEM education” is filled with publicity about successful STEM workshops or the launch of a new after-school program.

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