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Tomorrow’s vaccine developers are sitting in today’s middle school classrooms

27th October 2020

Paula Grisanti, CEO at National Stem Cell Foundation

 

SEP 28, 2020, 11:00AM EDT

For many years, America has been in short supply of U.S. STEM-educated graduates. According to an early report from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, the U.S. needs nearly 1 million more STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) professionals than it can produce at current graduation rates — a significant challenge for academic research, infrastructure preservation and technology development.

From a 2018 report by the National Science Board, India and China far outpace the U.S. in the number of conferred science and engineering degrees — India accounts for 25% of the global total, and China accounts for 22%. By comparison, America accounts for only 10%, while the demand from U.S. employers for graduates with STEM degrees continues to grow.

Companies don’t have — and can’t find — the U.S. STEM talent they need to stay competitive; lagging K-12 performance is a critical reason why. In 2015, in search of a workforce development solution, our organization partnered with the Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science at Western Kentucky University (WKU) to develop and underwrite the National STEM Scholar Program.

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