To encourage students to pursue science-related careers and businesses to continue investing in North Carolina, Governor Roy Cooper has declared April as STEM Education month.
Hiring in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields continues to outpace the hiring average across all industries in North Carolina, which means a rigorous STEM education is critical for getting students ready for the jobs of today and tomorrow. A rigorous STEM education can also help students to develop their critical thinking and problem solving skills, which are important for success in today’s economy.
“The number one question employers considering North Carolina ask me is whether our workforce has the skills needed to do the jobs they want to create,” said Governor Cooper. “To make sure our workforce is ready for these jobs, we must continue to expand STEM education opportunities in our public schools and encourage students’ interests in these areas.”
Earlier this year, Governor Cooper launched NC Job Ready, a workforce development initiative built on three core principles: skills and education attainment so North Carolinians are ready for the jobs of today and tomorrow, employer leadership to remain relevant to evolving industry needs, and local innovation to take great ideas and apply them statewide.
Both national and North Carolina jobs data reflect an increasing need for some level of postsecondary education or skills attainment. It is estimated that North Carolina employers will have 520,000 middle skills jobs to fill between now and the year 2025. Many of these jobs will be in STEM fields where the state continues to see significant job growth in both rural and urban areas.
Over the month of April, students will have opportunities to engage in an array of STEM related learning activities across the state as part of the North Carolina Science Festival, organized by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Morehead Planetarium and Science Center. The 2018 Science Festival takes place April 1 – 30 and includes more than 600 different events statewide for students of all ages.
The North Carolina Business Committee for Education will also be piloting virtual STEM career awareness events for middle and high school students throughout the month of April. These industry chats will enable students and educators to connect directly with professionals in STEM fields and to gain a better understanding for the technical and soft skills needed to succeed in those careers.
STEM educators can collaborate with both the North Carolina Science Festival and NCBCE to coordinate exciting STEM based experiences for their students.
For additional information on the NC Science Festival and related events, visit www.ncsciencefestival.org.
For a list of virtual (STEM) industry chats, visit http://ncbce.org/students-at-work/.