There has been a feverish clarion call across the American educational scene, generated by the alarm that business analysts, employment forecasters, economic reporters, and educational leaders have expressed, regarding the gap between student academic achievement in STEM subjects [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] and the achievement shown by students in several of the First World countries. There is a coordinate gap that is said to exist between the number of STEM-related jobs necessary to fulfill today’s USA business needs and the skill sets among the younger labor force that is being sought to fill those needs. Therein lies our American and educational crisis—or so goes the clarion call.

While many of us in education are riding the concern bandwagon and revving up our curricula, teaching strategies, and marketing as we focus more attention and resources on STEM methodologies in the classroom, I like to remind people of the study Google conducted—its “Project Oxygen”—back in 2013. Google wanted to know what qualities marked the most successful and lasting employees as it questioned whether its own policy of hiring math wizzes out of elite universities was really the best HR strategy.

A Washington Post article in December of 2017 reported on the Google findings, saying that:

“The seven top characteristics of success at Google are all soft skills: being a good coach; communicating and listening well; possessing insights into others (including others different values and points of view); having empathy toward and being supportive of one’s colleagues; being a good critical thinker and problem solver; and being able to make connections across complex ideas.”

So what happened to the hysteria about STEM skills? Of course our country needs greater equality in the workforce in these higher paying fields—diversity of representation among STEM employees from minorities, women, and underserved communities will require our considerable attention. I want to see STEM in my schools a high quality facet of the full experience and an ever-present priority in our professional development planning, but not at the cost of what I call those humanistic, communicative skills cited in the Google study.
With that in mind, I invite you to navigate this portion of my website on STEM, which contains fifty corporations as an example of amazing investment being targeted on the advancement of STEM education and careers, in addition to thirty non-profit organizations that offer an impressive and extensive array of resources to support teachers and young students in STEM education.
Click into Corporate STEM Supporters or Non-Profit STEM Resources pages to learn what is really going on across America and the World today in STEM investment and educational enrichment—I encourage you to pursue these corporations on your own—as you will see, they may have funding or programs suitable for your school or community; meanwhile the Non-Profit institutions listed will certainly offer an unbelievable amount of information, lessons, ideas, and so much more, and it will all be at your fingertips through the links that I have provided.
And please feel free to communicate to me things you want me to add or sources I did not include that you think deserve to be listed here. Happy navigating!

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