Survey: Students Lack Exposure to STEM Career Paths

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This post originally appeared on Admitted in June.

Teens who are interested in science need better career preparation pathways, according to a recent national survey.

The study — funded by Change the Equation and the Amgen Foundation— showed that although students like science, they aren’t crazy about the way the subject is taught. In addition, many lack the out-of-school resources and connections needed to explore STEM careers on their own.

“Teens know what good science education looks like, but they lack engaging learning opportunities, career guidance, and professional mentors,” the report states. “Science advocates in our schools, businesses, and communities can change that.”

More than 1,500 students ages 14 to 18 participated in the online survey. Key findings include:

• While 81 percent of students found science interesting, only 37 percent reported liking their science classes “a lot.”

• And although more than three-fourths of respondents were interested in science-related job shadowing and career counseling, few students reported having access to such opportunities.

Study authors urged schools to partner with industry to provide students with more chances to explore STEM occupations. They also called on science teachers to increase hands-on learning and field trips for students.

“The survey suggests, among other things, that many teens lack access to engaging, real-world science experiences, which is limiting their chances to pursue science any further,” the report notes. “These findings are a call to action for anyone who is committed to inspiring the next generation of American scientists and innovators.”

Read the full report and learn more about NACAC’s STEM College and Career Fairs.

Admitted writer/editor Mary Stegmeir welcomes additional comments and story ideas at mstegmeir@nacacnet.org.

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