Statistics demonstrate the deficits of education in science, math, engineering and technology, or STEM. For instance, women earn 58 percent of all bachelor’s degrees but only 20 percent of computer science degrees, 21 percent of physics degrees and 20 percent of engineering degrees. African-Americans and Hispanics make up less than 10 percent of the workforce in STEM occupations. U.S. high school seniors test below the international average for 21 countries in mathematics and science.
Many approaches have been tried, but one stands out: Start younger. That was the idea behind The Exploratory Academy, which brought 100 middle school students to WestConn for a day of instruction and re-introduction to the STEM subjects.
Judging from the letters of thanks from students sent a few days later, the trip was a complete success.