Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Maryland and Frederick County are Leading the Way in a STEM workforce

Maryland is leading the nation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and Frederick County Public School's advancements in STEM training are preparing a workforce of the future.
Dr. Daraius Irani, Executive Director of the Regional Economic Studies Institute, spoke about the importance of STEM training and jobs during the annual Economic Outlook Conference at Towson University yesterday.  He stated that Maryland ranks first in the nation in STEM job concentration, 42 percent of bachelor’s degrees awarded in Maryland from 2012-2013 were in STEM fields, and 47 percent of job openings in the State require STEM skills.

Dr. Irani attributed the State’s achievements in STEM to an increase in quality educational programs. ”There has been a real purposeful effort by State schools to introduce students to STEM. That makes a difference,” he said. There are seven STEM Standards of Practice set by the state: 1) Learn and Apply Rigorous Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Content, 2) Integrate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Content, 3) Interpret and Communicate STEM Information, 4) Engage in Inquiry, 5) Engage in Logical Reasoning, 6) Collaborate as a STEM Team, and 7) Apply Technology Strategically.
The Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) vision is that students will graduate STEM proficient and be prepared for post-secondary study and the 21st Century workforce. As a result, the STEM office of FCPS has programs designed for the elementary, middle and high school levels. During the school day, students engage in the seven STEM Practices as part of their ongoing classroom instruction. 

Outside of FCPS, the C.Burr Artz Library is home to the STEM Lab to meet the needs of area students and to support the goals of local and statewide education initiatives and the library hosts a series of monthly STEM educational classes for all ages.

FCPS reported that 99% of nearly 900 employers surveyed in 2014 indicated that FCPS students met or exceeded job requirements at their place of business, indicating that FCPS are preparing a strong workforce of the future.