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SunSentinel: Ed Moore: Prepare students for the STEM surge

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The growth of jobs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines has received increased attention over the last several years. This sector needs a steady influx of talented students who are prepared to take on the demands of challenging STEM jobs. Attention and improvements to our educational approach to these vital subjects would give our students the tools they need to be successful as they enter the workforce.

A recent study by Florida TaxWatch found that there are more STEM research parks that create high-skilled, high-wage STEM jobs in Florida than in any other state. The Florida Board of Governors predict that these research parks could cause the number of jobs in this market to double over the next decade.

The Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida hosts research parks at two of its schools — the University of Miami and Florida Institute of Technology. Many institutions of higher learning across the state are following the same trend. They are working to boost STEM education and fill the valuable openings in this growing sector.

With support from the Florida Department of Education and The University of Tampa, the Florida Independent College Fund is working to further student learning in STEM areas through ScienceMathMaster (SM2). This program provides teachers with training and resources that enable them to improve STEM teaching strategies and approaches.

By giving our state’s teachers the tools they need to effectively educate Florida’s students, SM2 promotes the success of our future university graduates and ultimately the success of the Sunshine State.

Programs such as these are critical to effectively preparing Florida students for careers in STEM fields. With more opportunities opening in Florida, we must step up our game now to ensure we have a strong talent pipeline ready to fill the STEM jobs of the future.

Visit the SM2 website to learn more about the E-library and upcoming programs:

Dr. Ed Moore is the president of Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida.

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