A new year brings with it new resolutions, new opportunities, and new challenges.
It also brings new insights.
Recently, our friends at ACT released the 2016 edition of their National Condition of STEM Report.
The report compiles data from the nationwide administration of the ACT® test to the high school graduating class of 2016 - taken by a record 64% of students - along with it’s accompanying ACT Interest Inventory, which measures each ACT test taker’s interest in different educational and occupational areas.
The Interest Inventory provides an opportunity for ACT to quantify the expressed interests of students (those which the students specifically identify themselves) in these areas as well as measured interests (based on answers to the Inventory’s questions). The results allow ACT to determine levels of interest in STEM fields as well as to compare the college readiness levels between these subsets of students.
So what did ACT find out in their Condition of STEM 2016 Report? Here are some of the highlights:
- Students with an interest in STEM continue to show higher levels of college readiness than ACT-tested students as a whole.
- Approximately half (48%) of ACT-tested U.S. graduates in the class of 2016 have expressed interest in STEM majors and careers. This level of interest has remained steady over the past five years.
- Under-served learners have a high interest in STEM, but ACT STEM benchmark attainment lags far behind their peers.
Perhaps one of the most concerning stats from this year’s report is that only 1,258 students (less than 1% of the 2.1 million tested) had both an expressed and measured interest in becoming a math or science teacher. The lack of students interested in teaching STEM subjects to younger generations presents an alarming paradox for the future of STEM education in the U.S., and makes initiatives such as the 100Kin10 Network necessary.
Like we said, new years always bring new challenges. But STEM Premier and ACT are at the ready to transform these challenges into opportunities for today’s students and tomorrow’s professionals.