We live in a world that is constantly changing, with new technologies hitting the shelf all the time. I remember a time when technology took years to upgrade to a newer version. Nowadays a new upgrade for our smartphones is out every season. So how fast is our world’s technology growth? The graph below provides some insight of how technology is growing exponentially. It compares the technology the United States has used to communicate and share information since the 1900s. Harvard Business estimated that the pace of technology development took roughly about 50 years for 50% of the American public to use Telephones. Keep in mind it took 20 years for half of America to use mobile phones and slightly less than 10 years for smart phones to reach significant numbers.
So what does all this technology boom mean for the world? This means that the Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) industry has to grow and adapt simultaneously with the exponential development of new technology.
Studies indicate that roughly 65% of middle school students will be working in jobs that haven’t yet been invented! How do we respond to this prediction of increased new STEM jobs? What tools do we need to give the modern day grade school student in order for them to adapt to new job fields that are being introduced with the advances in technology? Former Michigan Governor John Engler argues that STEM education is the key to the US’s economic Future. Governor Engler also expresses the urgency to encourage more students to pursue STEM related fields to support a strong working culture in America.
In 2009 the US Department of Labor estimated that 8 of the top 10 most wanted jobs required degrees in STEM. As outlined by Science Pioneers, STEM careers are clearly what will fuel not only the economy but the culture of technology hungry society in the future. STEM industry jobs have grown by about 17% while other fields only experienced a 9.8% estimated growth.
Georgetown University predicts that by 2020, 65, percent of all jobs in the economy will require postsecondary education and training beyond high school. So for the next 10 years, the exponential growth in technology will result in technologies that are 1000 times more advanced (The Emerging Future). This means the job market and STEM fields will be more advanced. These new state of the art technologies will require a human force behind it that have strong critical thinking ability to use the advanced technologies.
The demand to create an innovative and technology advancing society is apparent from all the sources we have discussed. As processes, simulations and procedures are automated and streamlined, the human role will evolve into one that is “hands on” and “minds on”. The US currently ranks 29th in the world in graduating students into STEM related fields.
Our team at Ascension Works has developed the Design, Technology and Innovations program to respond to the gaps between STEM education, application of knowledge and assessment of real world problem solving. Our 2016 Summer program is designed to teach students math and science applications early in their learning processes. The DTI program is comprised of fun interactive labs that aim to engage, enthuse and teach. The main goal of the DTI, STEM curriculum is to help student self identify to STEM related fields such as, medicine, biology, engineering and chemistry. Learn more about this exciting program that helps tomorrow’s innovators to apply knowledge as they solve fun challenges.