STEMM Careers

The Science Teacher, April-May 2010 | Go to article overview

STEMM Careers


Parental influence and access to mathematics courses are likely to guide students to careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or medicine (STEMM), according to research from Michigan State University (MSU). The findings of Jon Miller, a professor of integrative studies, and colleagues were presented at the 2010 meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

The education of more researchers, engineers, and others in the field of science is critical, Miller says. "Failure to build and maintain a competitive scientific work force in the decades ahead," Miller says, "will inevitably lead to a decline in the American standard of living." Miller used data from the Longitudinal Study of American Youth, which kept track of nearly 6,000 students from middle school through college and attempted to determine what led them to or guided them away from STEMM careers.

According to Miller, "The pathway to a STEMM career begins at home." He says this is especially true in families where children were strongly encouraged to go to college. "Only 4% of students who experienced low parent encouragement to attend college planned to enter a postsecondary program and major in a STEMM field," he says. …

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