What's the word?
The word is STEM.
Everywhere you go, especially in education circles, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (a.k.a. STEM) is the name of the game when it comes to skills American kids will need to compete in the global job market.
Except there's a problem. The U.S. Bureau of Statistics projects that STEM jobs will increase by over 20 percent in the next five years alone. This is not the problem. Considering the economy we're in, anything that promises more jobs is a good thing.
The problem is, the U.S. is suffering from a distinctive lack of young adults interested in science careers, which is bad for them individually, and bad for the country's global competitive edge, as a whole.
What can (and should) be done about this problem? Well, everyone has ideas. But, Discovery Education and 3M have actually moved on from wringing their hands and worrying to taking concrete action.
In 2013, the two companies are looking to nurture America’s next "Top Young Scientist.”
Ten finalists currently attending grades 5 through 8, will be chosen to work directly with a 3M scientist to create an innovation that solves a problem in everyday life. Together they will work virtually through preassigned objectives with resources and support provided by Discovery Education and 3M. The students will then present their conclusions at the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, MN for a chance to win $25,000. Finalists will be judged on their scientific problem solving and also on their communication skills.