Enhanced STEM Education and Careers

SAE believes that the quality of instruction, as well as the quantity of students pursuing careers in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields, must dramatically increase if the United States is to remain the technological leader in the world. The quantity of STEM-based students must reflect the diverse population of the country. SAE actively participates in the Steering Committee of the Congressional STEM Caucus, which consists of 100+ Congressmen that advocate support for STEM education.

Issues in the government relations arena related to STEM include:

  • Adjustment of federally mandated testing requirements to include STEM
    The recent emphasis on federally-mandated education standards embodied in laws such as "No Child Left Behind" has led states and local-school districts to increasingly tailor their curricula, budget and staffing to increase their scores on standardized tests. Yet these new standards place little emphasis on math and science, and virtually none on technology and engineering. SAE is working with coalitions of other technical societies and pertinent Congressional staff to revise federal-testing standards to increase the emphasis they put on STEM education, with the understanding that as this is accomplished, budgets, class-time and qualified teachers will follow. (U.S. Congress, Department of Education [DoEd], National Science Foundation [NSF])

  • Funding for non-traditional STEM programs such as those offered by SAE
    The majority of government funding for education has been applied to traditional K-12 and university institutions. Yet SAE and other groups have had tremendous success by providing "non-traditional" STEM programs, which supplement existing programs. SAE is working with other societies to encourage government resources in support of the excellent programs offered by SAE such as A World in Motion®, Collegiate Design Series and Professional Development offerings. (U.S. Congress, DoEd, NSF, Department of Labor [DoL])

  • Better training of K-12 teachers in STEM fields
    The majority of U.S. elementary school teachers specializes in humanities; not STEM education. Many secondary-school teachers have degrees in education, but not in the technical subjects they teach. A concerted, national effort is needed to raise the level of expertise of teachers in STEM-related fields to ensure they are better qualified to teach and inspire the next generation of engineers. (U.S. Congress, DoEd)

  • Enhancing Professional Development for Existing Engineers and Preparing Them for New Technologies
    As the pace of technology change increases in the transportation industry and with the changes in economic conditions occurring in the global economy, it is essential for both working-level engineers and skilled craftsmen in the mobility communities to receive training in these new technology areas. SAE believes a partnership between governments of all levels and industry is necessary to ensure the current workforce is prepared to compete in the ever changing global economy. SAE's professional-development system is a shining example of a training program that is offered on a global basis to enhance the skills of working level engineers. (DoL, DoE, U.S. Congress)