Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education and the U.S. Workforce

From Santa Fe Institute Events Wiki

Topical Meeting Navigation

Held at the Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza, 100 Sandoval Street, Mesa Meeting Room A

Webcast Available Here

Meeting Organizers:

Rick Stephens and Michael Richey of Boeing

Nora Sabelli of SRI International

Ginger Richardson and Chris Wood of the Santa Fe Institute

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education and the U.S. Workforce

The fastest growing occupations in the next decade are projected to be in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. Providing the needed supply of qualified candidates to fill those positions will be made more difficult due to the aging and retirement of the current STEM-educated work force and the inadequacy of the current STEM education system. "America's competitive edge in the global economy, the strength and versatility of its labor force, its capacity to nourish research and innovation all are increasingly dependent on an education system capable of producing a steady supply of young people well-prepared in science and math" says a recent Education Commission of the States report. Yet declining trends in STEM graduates persist despite reform efforts that have spanned the last 30 years. Can the business community turn the tide? The current educational system in the US, the school system in any given community, any particular individual school, and the individual student minds affected by them, are ALL complex adaptive systems, composed of systems nested within systems, operating on multiple spatial and temporal scales, all influenced by the larger systems of the cultures and societies in which they are embedded. Consequently, most effective educational outcomes - at the cognitive level, the classroom level, or the systemic level - will likely emerge from bottom-up evolutionary change rather than through wholesale top-down engineering. Reporting from the front line of education change, speakers will draw from a complex systems perspective to comment on today's system and probe for possible leverage points for action and future change. Presentations will be interleaved by relevant case studies of education outreach activities (noting especially motivations for the projects) presented by Business Network members.