Surveys Says Parents Think STEM Education Key Component to Successful Future

Two new surveys examine STEM/science education and its importance for children’s future careers. While looking at different educational venues (afterschool programs compared to the regular school day), both reports show the majority of parents strongly support increased STEM/science education and believe that one key is to make children see the subjects  as exciting and creative.

Full STEM Ahead: Afterschool Programs Step Up as Key Partners in STEM Education, The Afterschool Alliance

Based on responses collected for America After 3PM from 30,000 U.S. households, this report focuses on parents’ perspectives on STEM in afterschool programs.

  • Seven in ten parents (69%) report that their child is offered STEM learning opportunities in their afterschool program. Math is offered more often than any other STEM subject.
  • Forty-five percent of children in afterschool programs are offered science learning opportunities. Technology and engineering offerings in afterschool programs are much lower—about 30%.
  • Children in afterschool programs are being offered STEM programming more, and with greater frequency, in urban communities compared to rural and suburban communities.
  • While not the leading consideration, roughly half of the parents surveyed said STEM programming was a factor in their decision.

Read the report.

Bayer Facts of Science Education XVII-2015, Twenty Years Later – Where Are We Now?

On the 20th anniversary of Bayer’s Making Science Make Sense initiative, this report compares the state of science education in 1995 and 2015.

  • Parents and teachers universally agree it’s important that children see science as an exciting, creative and interesting subject (97% and 99% respectively) and that it’s important to children’s future success in life to receive a good science education (94% and 99%, respectively).
  • Parents are 21 percent more likely to say their child gets excited about the subject of science (88%), compared to math (73%), English (73%) and social studies (73%).  Just over half (56%) of parents say their child always or often talks to them about their science education or science teacher in a positive way.
  • Ninety-eight percent of teachers feel they are qualified to teach science, yet three-fifths (61%) believes schools should place more emphasis on science education. In fact, one-fifth (21%) of teachers say science receives the least amount of emphasis at their school.
  • Nearly all (95%) teachers believe hands-on activities are the most effective way for students to learn science, and 79 percent of parents say the same.
  • Eighty-five percent of teachers would dedicate more instructional time to hands-on science-based learning if given the opportunity, but are prevented by lack of time due to other educational priorities (80%) and lack of funds (49%).

Read the report.

The AAP PreK-12 Learning Group Master Class Essentials for Next Generation Science Instruction (Nov. 5)  will look at the NGSS, changes in  STEM education, and how they impact learning resource developers.