Global Perspective

In a globally competitive economy, employers of all shapes and sizes are increasingly seeking workers skilled in science, technology, engineering, and math.

STEM education is thus becoming a global priority and for India it is even more imperative to see it reclaim its engineering and technological innovative finesse on way to becoming glorious global leader. It is crucial, therefore, for Indian educators, school managements, teachers, students, policy makers, industry champions, and community stakeholders to embrace STEM. It is critical to take advantage of the momentum and further the progress of under-represented students as it concerns access to a quality math and science education for long-term socioeconomic mobility and a place at the table of innovation. There is a clear balance to strike as we seek to work across international borders, share respective challenges and successes, and work toward a diverse and equitable global STEM workforce.

Dr. Archana Sharma, Particle Physics Indian Scientist at CERN

There's no such thing as a stupid question and that reflects the humility of scientific research," said Dr Archana Sharma, Senior Particle Physicist at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. Dr Sharma an Indian among 2,000 physicists at world's largest laboratory with 22 partner countries and India as one of the associate members. She has taken up the goal to promote scientific research and development among Indian students. "We have a long way to go in terms of R&D (Research and Development) and our country's R&D budget is a fraction of many other countries' allocation to their scientific institutes," she said but adding that she isn't giving up yet. Her endeavor to engage today's young minds with scientists at CERN has been a huge success and so far 500 students from schools across India have travelled to CERN. Dr Archana Sharma narrates her humble journey from Jhansi to Geneva with an important lesson - India's contribution to the world's scientific research and development will only increase

Investing to ensure a pipeline of workers skilled in STEM competencies is a workforce issue, an economic-development issue, and a business imperative. And the best way to ensure return on these investments is to start fostering these skills in young children.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to define a STEM “job.” Regardless of the industry” manufacturing, utilities, construction, technology, financial services employers are looking for a talent pipeline that can produce workers proficient in the STEM disciplines. Concepts at the heart of STEM ”curiosity, creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking” are in demand. They also happen to be innate in young children.

STEM- Tools to change the World

It is a genuine belief that one can’t start early enough: Young children are natural-born scientists and engineers. Like STEM, investment in early-childhood education is a workforce-pipeline issue. Research has shown that high-quality 4th thru 10th education cuts the rate of children being held back a grade in half; decreases juvenile arrests by a third; and increases high school attendance by a third, college attendance by a whopping 80 percent, and employment by 23 percent. High-quality early-learning environments provide children with a structure in which to build upon their natural inclination to explore, to build, and to question. There is an exciting and powerful link between STEM and early childhood. Research confirms that the brain is particularly receptive to learning math and logic between the ages of 8 and 14, and that early math skills are the most powerful predictors of later learning. Research also confirms that early math skills are a better predictor of later academic success than early reading is. The study found that in a comparison of math, literacy, and social-emotional skills at kindergarten entry, “early math concepts, such as knowledge of numbers and ordinality, were the most powerful predictors of later learning.”