Washington State is a National Leader in STEM!
In 2013, the state of Washington passed a bill to significantly improve its STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) learning opportunities and educational outcomes for K-12 students. Simply put, Washington schools, government, and non-profit organizations have teamed together to create more ways to give our children opportunities to learn and apply STEM skills. Each year, more opportunities arise, more grant money is budgeted, our children get excited, and a brighter future is painted.
Why is STEM important?
So, you may think STEM education has been around since you were in school. Unless you participated in Science Fairs and went out of your way to expose yourself to STEM activities, you probably only scratched the surface of what is available to children today. Traditional education teaches about cool technology, math equations, and engineering marvels. STEM education goes a step further and puts the student in the driver’s seat and creates opportunities to put their education to work. Wouldn’t it be fun to learn how to build a robot? Code a program to control the robot? Or use the robot to gather samples of ecosystems in the Puget Sound? With real-world application, students are given the opportunity to get excited about possible career paths at an early age.
- education standards and curriculum quality education will increase
- high school graduation rates will increase
- job satisfaction will increase
- the global economy will increase, beginning in Seattle
- there will be a greater number and quality inventions
- the poverty level will decrease
- the price of education will decrease
Washington STEM put together an amazing video outlining what STEM means and how students can thrive from STEM education.
STEM is Important for Seattle
Let’s be frank for a minute. Consider the industry that has moved into Seattle. No, we’re not talking about all of the construction. We’re talking about the tech industry that is creating all of the construction. Companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Expedia (and the list goes on) are continuing to grow and change the landscape of Metro Seattle – not to mention the other giant corporations like Boeing, Starbucks, Nordstrom, Nintendo, Weyerhauser, and Windermere. The employees that these global companies are looking for are (for all intense and purposes) STEM employees. That said, 30% of their tech-savvy and STEM employees are transplants (not from Seattle).
The more foreign employees these companies recruit, the more real estate construction and buildings will be built to accommodate them. Following all of these employees will be more consumer businesses, restaurants, traffic and more advancements in the city infrastructure, and ultimately a bigger Metropolitan area.
The changes in Seattle are happening and will continue for years to come. The key to growing with the city is to acclimate our children to the new and future economy. Resources are widely available and access is becoming easier.
How can my child get involved in STEM education?
There’s a good chance your student is already involved in STEM education at school. Beginning in preschool and Kindergarten, students in Seattle public and private schools are provided with workshops, classroom learning and out of classroom exposure to STEM education. Middle and high schools offer clubs and organizations to further their interests.
Extra-Curricular STEM Opportunities
Help us expand our list! Let us know which STEM Ed opportunity opened your student’s eyes.
STEM Success Stories
STEM grads step right into the future by The Seattle Times
A life-changing summer in Seattle for six STEM students by PATH – Stories of innovation and impact
Inside the pioneering Seattle area school that’s shaking up how STEM education is taught by GeekWire