Math scores across US grade schools have dropped this year according to newly published NAEP 2015 test scores. According to the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic) Education Coalition, U.S. 15 year olds ranked 21st in science test scores among 34 developed nations. These are dismal stats that have many concerned, since STEM education plays a critical role in U.S. competitiveness and future economic prosperity.
The good news is that by 2020, the demand for STEM professionals will add over 1 million STEM jobs to the US work force. STEM jobs offer higher job security and higher yearly income than other fields. Even better, in STEM occupations the number of job postings outnumber applications by 1.9 to 1. Clearly getting our kids interested and motivated in STEM careers makes sense from many angles.
With so many engineers, data scientists, and technologists of our own, EMC is particularly passionate and committed to the STEM movement and wanted to help.
How can we motivate kids to take an interest in STEM and measure the impact of EMC’s STEM initiative? This was the challenge the EMC Presales took on and met with great success and personal reward. For example, in just one event connecting EMC with approximately 300 seventh and eighth graders on topics such as big data analytics, the interest in a math careers increased by 7%. In fact, the more kids became excited and used their imagination about the possibilities of big data analytics, the more questions they asked, giving EMC a few more lessons to learn ourselves on the topic. Watch the video below to learn more.
I spoke with David Dietrich, Director of Technical Marketing for Big Data Solutions at EMC, to understand how the topic of big data analytics was able to change the sentiment of STEM, and in turn, how utilizing big data analytics was able to measure the effectiveness of STEM.
Q: David, why is STEM important and why did EMC become involved?