The Trump Administration has released its five-year lesson plan for boosting STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education.
The report, from the National Science & Technology Council, bills the plan as an "urgent call to action for nationwide collaboration." Urgent because the STEM disciplines are key to a competitive economy and "peace through strength," says the Administration.
The plan is billed as four intersecting paths: 1) developing existing and new partnerships among educational institutions, employers and communities; 2) "engaging students where disciplines converge," described as making STEM more meaningful and inspiring, including through science fairs, robotics clubs gaming workshops and invention challenges; 3) building digital ("computational") literacy, which means teaching students to solve complex problems, not just to use digital tools effectively; and 4) base STEM programs on transparency and accountability in terms of programs and investments in STEM.
That government transparency and accountability was described this way: "Leverage and Scale Evidence-Based Practices Across STEM Communities. Report Participation Rates of Underrepresented Groups. Use Common Metrics to Measure Progress. Make Program Performance and Outcomes Publicly Available. Develop a Federal Implementation Plan and Track Progress."
The program's goals are described as building stronger STEM literacy foundations, increasing diversity, equity and inclusion, and preparing a workforce—STEM jobs are growing and they pay better.
"We commend the Trump Administration for its commitment to strengthening STEM education and training in the U.S., especially its call for boosting public-private partnerships and promoting a more diverse and inclusive STEM talent pipeline," said TechNet President Linda Moore. "Our nation's full potential can only be achieved if all Americans have access to the STEM education and training resources they need to succeed in the digital economy. In 2019 and beyond, TechNet looks forward to continuing our work with the White House, Congress, and state and local policymakers to advance STEM education policies."