Why STEM + Families?
STEM careers in the United States are growing twice as fast as other fields. This huge growth has created a situation in which the demand for qualified STEM professionals is high, but the supply of qualified STEM workers is low—especially among underrepresented groups like minorities and women. To meet the rapidly-growing demand for qualified STEM professionals and develop the next generation of leaders, we must help students and families build the necessary competencies and skills to pursue STEM degrees and career opportunities. Families play an essential role in helping their student navigate educational choices on the path toward a fulfilling career. Families are the links to enrichment opportunities, as well as influencers of students’ perceptions of what is possible for their future.
Our vision is that every student has access to high-quality STEM education opportunities and every family is equipped to guide STEM education choices and career pathways, regardless of the students’ zip code, ethnicity, race or gender.
Increase access to STEM education and careers, especially among under-represented youth, by developing, evaluating and sharing effective ways to inform and engage families in STEM experiences, while working with our partners to improve access to STEM school and community learning environments.
To achieve this goal, National PTA and its partners wiill deploy several strategies that will generate collective impact, mobilize schools and communities to engage families, and deepen awareness about STEM possibilities through public education. PTA’s strategies are: