STEM Conference @ Foley CAT & UTI

January 14th, 2015

STEM education

The Brookings Institution released an interesting study on job vacancies and STEM skills. Here are two major findings:

  • "The principle finding is that there is a relative shortage of U.S. workers with STEM skills. In other words, STEM skills are in high demand relative to supply, and the problem is especially acute in certain metropolitan areas, where the average vacancy for STEM workers takes months to fill. As a result, workers with STEM knowledge tend to readily find job opportunities, even as large categories of workers with little education or STEM skills compete over a relatively small number of jobs."

  • "Whether the absolute STEM shortage is mild or severe, important consequences follow from even a relative shortage. Without major changes in training or education policy and practice, the relative shortage of STEM workers will likely play out by enlarging the already sizable long-term gap in lifetime earnings and unemployment rates between STEM and non-STEM workers, exacerbating income inequality generally and inequality across racial/ethnic groups and gender more specifically."

UTI is changing the face of STEM Education

Jerry Ellner, National Director of High School Development for Universal Technical Institute, believes that we need to look beyond tradition CTE programs/courses for STEM trainings in our schools. Secondary schools need to approach STEM education as a "problem solving" and inquiry based educational component with hands-on activities. Relevant, real-world application in any class can demonstrate STEM proficiency. For example:

  • A cooking class can explore the chemical reaction of baking cookies (Science). They can discover the technological changes in baking that has required adaptation over several decades. How has this impacted the ability to manufacture large quantities of a product (Engineering)? Also, students use mathematical skills in measurement throughout the process. Additionally, students can utilize art-based skills in decorating a finished product.

Jerry sums up his STEM education beliefs as follows:

“Every student deserves the chance to chart their own path to success. At Universal Technical Institute (UTI), we embody this mission every day. We give our hands-on heroes an education that matches their gifts and the opportunity to succeed in a career that makes them happy. Four out of five who graduate from UTI start careers in the transportation industry within a year of graduation. Every day, we strive to help students understand their value and the larger significance of their careers. Our graduates are the backbone of America – they keep our vehicles moving and our trucks delivering. To set our students up for professional success, we partner with more than 30 of the industry’s leading manufacturers to deliver a STEM-based curriculum that’s built around employers’ needs and gives our students the skills it takes to thrive in today’s transportation industry. When our students graduate, they’re ready to work and entering an in-demand field that welcomes their expertise. “

Visit for more information

Brought to you by Mr. Hudson, College & Career Counselor at Somerville High School