06/13 - STEM Status: Science, Technology, Engineering & Math in Louisiana

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How can Louisiana better equip its citizens for future STEM positions?
Occupations in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) are projected to grow by nearly 10% over the next five years. Experts estimate Louisiana alone will have 69,000 STEM job vacancies by 2018. But who will fill these positions?

Nationwide, more than 300,000 jobs are currently being left vacant because employers can’t find individuals skilled enough in STEM. In Louisiana, 40% of eighth-graders report never designing a science project. Only 3% of high-school seniors take advance college placement tests in science. While male students have shown a recent increased interest in STEM, Louisiana females’ interest has been decreasing since 2008.

So, how can Louisiana better equip its citizens for future STEM positions? Are Louisiana’s educators adequately prepared to teach STEM courses? And how can students be encouraged to pursue STEM careers? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers to these questions and more on “STEM Status: Science, Technology, Engineering & Math in Louisiana” airing Wednesday, June 26 at 7 p.m. on LPB HD.

This program is made possible in part through a grant from Dow Chemical Company.
1. As you may know, jobs in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) are projected to grow 10% in the next five years. Do you think Louisiana residents are equipped to fill those positions?
2. In your opinion, how much of an effect would an inadequately trained STEM workforce have on economic development?
3. In your opinion, how do you think Louisiana students compare to other states in the number of graduates in STEM?
4. How well prepared do you think Louisiana’s teachers are to teach STEM programs?
5. Do you think students should be encouraged to pursue STEM careers?
6. How do you think we could achieve this?
7. As you may know, in 2008, Louisiana passed the Science Education Act which allows teachers in public schools to use supplemental materials in the science classroom which are critical of scientific theories including evolution and climate change. Do you support or oppose this bill?
8. Do you think the state should implement policies that encourage STEM education?
9. Should the state-funded Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) scholarship program award in-coming college students who major in STEM a higher amount than students who don’t?
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