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Armed Forces see STEM education as ensuring a bright future

Education Dive – Pat Donachie

“Employers in fields that utilize science, technology, engineering and mathematics have consistently sounded a warning bell about the future of STEM in the United States, cautioning that there is a coming gap in qualified applicants for employers. The rates of STEM graduates are not keeping up with the amount of job openings in related fields, and the issue could worsen, as the U.S. will add about one million new STEM jobs by 2020. Data from nonprofit showed 607,708 open computing jobs in the country last year, though only 42,969 students with that expertise and background entered into the workforce in the year before. Further research in 2015 indicated that the gaps are even more pronounced between genders and ethnicities, and while STEM jobs and degrees have steadily increased since 2000, the STEM workforce was no more diverse than it was 14 years prior.”(more)

Building A Love For Math And Science

ECN Magazine – Argie Sarantinos-Perrin

“Knocking down a stack of blocks, then backing up to switch directions, a robot effortlessly moves around a local school as a group of children watch and wait for their turn to operate the remote control. The children marvel at the hodgepodge of whirring motors, nuts and bolts, the culmination of their hard work in a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) robotics competition. Through STEM experiences, competitions and research apprenticeships, the Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP)–managed by the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) on behalf of the assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology–offers an array of educational opportunities for children from kindergarten through college. As a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command, RDECOM is working with AEOP and its academic and industry partners to develop the workforce of the future.”(more)

Protecting early childhood education helps national security

Commercial Appeal – Vinson E. Smith

“The next time you drop your child off to preschool, or spot a gaggle of four year olds on a playground, you should think about national security. Yes, you read that correctly, because a lot of what happens in a four year old’s mind right now will have a big impact on his or her ability to qualify for military service or employment later in life.”(more)

Mission: Pre-K: More state support for early education is vital

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Editorial Board

“Early-childhood education is so important that even retired admirals and generals are fighting for it. Mission: Readiness, a children’s advocacy group made up of former military leaders, is part of a 2-year-old coalition demanding that the state invest $90 million more next fiscal year in pre-kindergarten and Head Start programs. Why? A high-tech military requires highly skilled recruits, while the nation’s lagging performance in science and math portends a diminished global competitiveness, according to a study that Mission: Readiness and the business group ReadyNation released Thursday.”(more)

Top Air Force scientist: More STEM-educated troops needed

The Air Force Times – Brian Everstine

“The military needs to address its challenge of having enough science, technology, engineering and math expertise to keep up with the technology advancements of potential adversaries, the Air Force’s top scientist said Wednesday. STEM education is a challenge for the entire country. While the Air Force has been more successful than other services in recruiting scientists and engineers, the military as a whole needs to appeal to a sense of service and patriotism to recruit the best talent, Air Force Chief Scientist Mica Endsley said. The military should “appeal to scientists and engineers who don’t want to just make the cool app, they want to make something of value,” Endsley told reporters at the Pentagon. “Something that could save lives. Something that could make us stronger as a country.” The U.S. has begun to lag as a leader of science and engineering. For example, the U.S. led all countries for research published in engineering-related publications in 2000, Endsley said. By 2007, China had caught up. In 2013, China had twice as many publications.”(more)

Educator relates stories from Army service to daily lessons

The Des Moines Register – Stacey Becker

” A large American flag hangs in Brian Lawrence’s Clayton Ridge Middle School classroom. Lawrence, a science teacher, relates stories from his service with the Army’s 3rd Ranger Battalion and Special Forces to his daily lessons, the Dubuque Telegraph Herald reported. “I like to see the patriotism we have in this school. I think it’s important,” he said. Lawrence was one of three teachers who received the Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of Iowa 2015 Teacher of the Year Award for his dedication to teaching patriotism. Emily Schaefers, a seventh-grader, said her teacher deserved the recognition. She said she especially enjoys his stories.”(more)