Established in 2004 by the College of Education, The Penn State Center for Science and the Schools (CSATS) focuses on strengthening science and technology education. Through the Promoting Innovative Practices for Educator Leaders through Industry/uNiversity Experiences, PIPELINE|STEM, the mission is to bring together industry leaders, teachers, and STEM researchers to create transformative changes in STEM education.
STEM jobs have doubled compared from 1850 to 20101, and U.S companies are reporting difficulty in filling positions due to lack of a skilled workforce, which grew from 14% in 2010 to 40% in 20132.
As the U.S. economy has changed, so too have occupational tasks and even occupations themselves. New types of jobs emerge as new industries are created, and new problems requiring solutions are encountered. To remain competitive, our Nation needs flexible STEM-capable workers at every education level.
Revisiting the STEM Workforce, National Science Board (2015)
With the rise of STEM careers and the STEM workforce skills demanded by companies, PIPELINE|STEM addresses the need for teachers to have high-quality real-world science and engineering experiences that translate the knowledge and practices of STEM into projects for the K-12 classroom. Through these efforts, students may increase their STEM career awareness and participation, especially within their region of residence, which could positively affect the economic development within their communities. Similar programs, such as Arizona Teachers in Industry Program from University of Arizona and Ignited Summer Fellowship Program in California, have experienced success in impacting STEM education on the west coast. Both groups placed teachers in a myriad of industry settings for immersive experience and supported them in implementing related projects in their classroom environments. Additionally, these programs have increased the dialogue between industries, communities, and K-16 education3.
PIPELINE|STEM is designed to be a long-term program with the intention of building sustainable partnerships and measurable results. The program was launched in the summer of 2016 in two Pennsylvania locations - Pittsburgh and Harrisburg. These cities represent immense opportunities to impact urban, diverse, and under served student populations with the vision of developing STEM education programs that provide research-based classroom experiences that build students’ knowledge and skills to compete in the STEM workforce of the future.
If you are an interested STEM corporation that would like to impact the future generation of STEM ready employees or an interested school that would like to take part in the PIPELINE|STEM program, please contact us today!
1. Brookings Institution. (2013). The Hidden Economy. Retrieved on June 15, 2016: http://changetheequation.org/stemtistics/jobs%20%26%20workforce?page=4
2. Brookings Institution. (2014). Still Searching: Job Vacancies and STEM Skills. Retrieved on June 15, 2016: http://changetheequation.org/stemtistics/jobs%20%26%20workforce?page=4
3. Teachers in Industry Program, University of Arizona. Program Impact. Retrieved on June 15, 2016 from http://teachersinindustry.arizona.edu/purpose