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Policy Statement 377 - Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education

ASCE Policy Statement                                                                                                           377

 

 

SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, AND MATHEMATICS (STEM) EDUCATION 

 

     Approved by the Educational Activities Committee on April 30, 2012
Approved by the Public Policy Committee on May 4, 2012
Adopted by the Board of Direction on July 12, 2012

 

 

Policy

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) supports programs that foster an appreciation and understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at the K-12 level. It is essential to:

  • Provide all students, regardless of background or career intentions, with  degree of STEM literacy that enables them to be successful in our increasingly technological society;
  • Support the development and implementation of high-quality college-preparatory and career-ready standards in STEM disciplines; and
  • Encourage students to pursue careers in STEM disciplines – and more specifically in civil engineering.

Issue 

Currently, the nation is not STEM literate.  A STEM literate nation is one whose people have a strong understanding and appreciation of the STEM disciplines, can speak to the importance of STEM and apply it to their daily lives.  Our education system is not meeting the needs of our increasingly technological society.  Many elementary, middle, and high school students do not receive adequate instruction, inspiration, and information in order to pursue STEM disciplines, such that the possibility of studying engineering at the college level is effectively precluded.  Moreover, many elementary, middle, and high school students receive little or no exposure to engineering. As a result, students who have the aptitude to be successful engineers never have an opportunity to develop an interest in this career path. Consequently, too few well-qualified students are pursuing careers in civil engineering.

 

Rationale

STEM education is closely linked with our nation’s economic prosperity, social well-being, and environmental sustainability in the global economy; strong STEM skills are a central element of well-rounded education and essential to effective citizenship.  There is a need and an opportunity to provide STEM education at all levels of our education system, to promote the pursuit of STEM careers, and to guide qualified students toward civil engineering careers.

 

ASCE Policy Statement 377 
First Approved in 1991