Resource Portfolio

Motivating Students to Pursue STEM Careers
The 2003 PKAL Assemblies
What Works - What Matters - What Lasts: The Roles and Responsibilities of Leaders in Undergraduate STEM

September 5 - 7, 2003

Co-sponsors:

Application Deadline: July 29, 2003

Reports and Publications

  • Unlocking Our Future - Toward a New National Science Policy (The Ehlers Report)
    A Report to Congress by the House Committee on Science, September 24, 1998
    In order to ensure the freedom and prosperity of our nation and its citizens, science and engineering must continue to be an integral part of our society. The founding ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are upheld and maintained through the emergence of technological innovation. To continue to promote this quality of life, federal encouragement as well as financial support are key.

  • Science and Engineering Indicators 2002
    National Science Foundation, April 2002
    The United States is the unchallenged world leader in technological research and development in terms of achievements and expenditures. The United States continually pursues the improvement of domestic and international human welfare. The Federal government must support scientific research, especially at institutions of higher learning. A link between industry and academia forms the basis of an international knowledge-based economy.

  • Graduate Enrollment Increases in Science and Engineering Fields, Especially in Engineering and Computer Sciences
    National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Statistics
    In the fall of 2001, total enrollment of graduate students in science and engineering programs was up 4% from the previous year. However, it was still below the peak number attained in 1993. The increase is due largely to a spike in the number of students enrolled while in the country on temporary visas; U.S. citizen enrollment increased only a single percent. The greatest surge in enrollment was in the computer sciences and the only major field to incur a decrease in enrollment was earth, atmospheric, and ocean sciences.

  • Ensuring a Strong U.S. Scientific, Technical, and Engineering Workforce in the 21st Century
    The White House, Office of Science and Technology Policy, April 11, 2000
    A report from the National Science and Technology Council looks at trends in the scientific, technological and engineering workforce over the past twenty years, as well as looking towards what the future may hold. The total number of degrees earned in ST&E fields has been steadily increasing since 1977, while the non-Hispanic white males, the present majority of the workforce, has been declining. This demographic alone will not be able to meet the needs of the workforce; other groups that have been historically under represented will fill the void. By 2050 minorities are expected to comprise nearly half, 48%, of the ST&E workforce. Diversity is as important in this area as it is in any other. The work from the ST&E sector is viewed as imperative to the healthy growth of our entire nation.

  • The Big Payoff: Educational Attainment and Synthetic Estimates of Work-Life Earnings
    U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Commerce, July 2002
    A study from the United States Census covering twenty five years shows that the salaries of workers are correlated to the level of their highest degree. Over this period the earning disparity among workers with different levels of educational achievement have grown. A worker in 1999 with an advanced degree earned 2.6 times what a worker with a high school diploma earned, compared to 1.8 times in 1975. The earning gap between men and women has continued to shrink while the earning level of all minorities has continued to lag behind that of White non-Hispanics. The study showed that the value of a degree results in greater earning power for an individual.

  • The Internationalization of Science & Engineering: Issues of Work, Education, and Security
    The Science & Engineering Workforce Project of the National Bureau of Economic Research, Sponsored by the Sloan Foundation, 15-16 May 2003
    With the continued elimination of constraints, all areas and levels of science are part of a world-wide community. This transfer from contained, domestic scientific endeavors to those pursued on a global scale allows innovation, but also creates new challenges. Ninety-five percent of new scientific discoveries are conceived within nations making up barely one-fifth of the total population of the planet. Issues such as the internationalization of the workforce, along with education, the exodus of workers from native lands to foreign nation's, and security issues arising from this increasingly singular global economy must be addressed.

  • "What Does Industry Want From Chemistry Graduates?"
    A meeting of the Michigan College Chemistry Teachers Association (MCCTA) in 2002 took a look at the critical issues facing educators of college chemistry students. A dialogue between faculty and employers looked at the necessary and desired skills of graduating chemists. This is crucial in helping institutions produce competent employees, not only able to secure a job but accelerate the capabilities of companies, thus driving technology.

  • Task Force on National Workforce Policies for Science and Engineering
    National Science Board, May 22, 2003
    The future of the United States workforce sector for science and technology (S&E) is threatened. The number of domestic graduates entering the S&E workforce is likely to decline, this coupled with increasing competition internationally, decrease the ability of our nation in areas of development, growth and security. Clearly the Federal Government must facilitate a re-emphasis on S&E, bolstering the size of the workforce through support of institutions and their students. Talented teachers must be educated because they will shape the next generation of scientists. Without a concerted Federal effort our ability to function at a high level of ingenuity, freedom and prosperity will be restricted.

  • A New Core Curriculum For All– from Thinking K-16
    A Publication of The Education Trust, Winter 2003
    As we enter the Information Age, it is imperative that our educational system shed the curriculum designed to meet the needs of the Industrial Age. All students should have access to and be given a broad education involving an inclusive set of courses. To prepare students only for a future in a vocation is negligent, especially considering that a majority of these professions demand more than a high school diploma. With these goals in mind, it is necessary to restructure the curriculum of our nation's schools and institutions to be inclusive of varied skills.

  • Learning for the Future: Changing the Culture of Math and Science Education to Ensure a Competitive Workforce
    Committee for Economic Development, 2003
    National measures of K-12 student ability in mathematics and science characterize a lack of desired aptitude, as well as disappointing international achievement nearing the end of high school. In order to create a sizeable, talented and diverse workforce we must make changes in the education system and strive as a nation to improve the mathematics and science skills of our youth. Without an improvement of the skills of our students in mathematics and science our pool of talented workers will eventually evaporate. This challenge is substantial, but an improvement is vital to our entire nation and all American citizens.

  • Pan-Organizational Summit on U.S. Science and Engineering Workforce
    National Academy of Scieces, November 11-12, 2002
    Despite growing and continuing concern about the low production of domestic science and engineering talent, there has been little movement in U.S. policy on the issue. While there have been many individual studies, each of which addresses a different piece of the problem, there has not yet been a concerted effort to compile policy prescriptions and recommendations and drive the result towards a communal prescription for change. Part of the problem is that the issue lacks visibility, because the organizations working on it are diffuse. A first step in addressing this need is to assemble the various organizations committed to the S&E workforce issue to create a cohesive presentation of their findings and recommendations.

Programs that Work to Motivate Students

Other Resources

  • Obstinate Issues, Sophisticated Solutions: Environmental Research and Education for a New Age
    Dr. Rita R. Colwell, Director, National Science Foundation
    Education for a Sustainable and Secure Future
    Third National Conference on Science, Policy and the Environment
    National Council for Science and the Environment
    January 30, 2003
    http://www.ecoed.net/tiee/misc/meetings.shtml