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Trump Administration Sets Five-Year Strategy for STEM Education

The National Science and Technology Council has released a new report outlining the nation's goals for STEM education over the next five years.

STEM education

The Trump administration is looking to beef up the nation's STEM education efforts through a new strategic plan titled "Charting a Course for Success: America's Strategy for STEM Education." The strategy has three aspirational goals: building strong foundations for STEM literacy; increasing diversity, equity and inclusion in STEM; and preparing the STEM workforce for the future.

"As technology continues to transform the world of work, work-based learning programs like apprenticeships and internships aimed at upskilling and reskilling will play an increasingly important role in STEM education and workforce development," said the administration's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), in a statement. "Under this plan, Federal agencies that support STEM education and training will promote all pathways of learning and work closely with the broader community to build a strong American foundation in STEM."

According to the National Science Board's Science and Engineering Indicators 2018, Americans' basic STEM skills have improved over the past two decades but they continue to lag behind many other countries. The administration's strategy focuses on four objectives and priority federal actions to beef up STEM education in the United States: developing and enriching strategic partnerships; engaging students where disciplines converge; building computational literacy; and operating with transparency and accountability.

"There are populations in the United States who are missing from the STEM ecosystem," National Science Foundation Director France Córdova said. "The nation will be stronger when these people are given access to STEM education and encouraged to become innovators. Our STEM enterprise will never reach its full potential until that happens. I'm proud to be part of this effort. We will find new ways to inspire all our nation's young people, support them and encourage more of them to pursue amazing careers in STEM."

In support of the administration's strategy, NSF is also announcing a $10 million commitment to its Data Science Corps, which provides basic training in data science to existing workforces at the local, state and national levels.

Under the guidance of the OSTP's Federal Subcommittee on Federal Coordination in STEM Education (FC-STEM), federal agencies that are engaged in STEM education will collaborate to develop a consolidated implementation plan to achieve the administration's goals and objectives. The plan will include near- and long-term actions that federal agencies are taking in regard to STEM education; recommendations for common metrics that can be collected across agencies to assess progress toward the administration's goals; and a definition of STEM education programs, investments and activities that will be used to collect annual inventory data. The consolidated implementation plan will be due to the Committee on STEM Education and OSTP within 120 days.

The release of the five-year strategy for STEM education follows the U.S. Department of Education's recent commitment to STEM through dedicating $279 million to fund federal programs.

The full strategy report can be found here.

About the Author

Sara Friedman is a reporter/producer for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe covering education policy and a wide range of other public-sector IT topics.

Friedman is a graduate of Ithaca College, where she studied journalism, politics and international communications.

Friedman can be contacted at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @SaraEFriedman.

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