November 8th is National STEM Day, and The Children’s Partnership is taking the day to celebrate and encourage children to cultivate their passions for exploring the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. As the share of STEM related occupations in the overall workforce is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years, ensuring all children have the chance to pursue STEM careers is one of today’s foremost matters of equity.
According to the Pew Research Center, nearly five million households with school-aged children do not have access to high-speed Internet services in their homes. Low-income Black and Latino households disproportionately reside on the wrong side of this “digital divide.” This is the most basic issue needing to be addressed to advance equal opportunities for all children to pursue STEM careers. Beyond access to Internet, there is a more complicated divide concerning the racial makeup of the STEM field workforce and higher education, that starts in K-12 and persists through post-secondary education systems. We will release a short brief on the need to identify and prioritize solutions to increase the number of underrepresented racial and ethnic minority students graduating from college with STEM degrees and joining the STEM workforce that also includes a case study in partnership with Teens Exploring Technology (TxT).
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- DYK: Over 500M children live in homes w/o internet. The digital divide is real in US. #STEMDay
- DYK: Only 24% of minority students complete their bachelor’s degree in STEM within 6yrs. compared to 40% of non-minority. #STEMDay
**Learn more in our upcoming brief release! ***
EQUITY IN TECHNOLOGY
Lack of access to technology introduces new hurdles that make it harder for many children to get ahead. For too many children—particularly those from low-income families—regular Internet access is out of reach. Without regular exposure to technology, kids are unable to develop the digital literacy skills they need to compete and excel in a 21st century economy. Basic computer skills are as critical today as reading and math. Without those skills, children find themselves at a great disadvantage that limits their academic success, future job prospects, and earning potential.
TCP is equalizing digital opportunity for children. We advocate improved access to digital tools that help children succeed in school and life. For over 20 years, we have been a leader in the national conversation on how emerging technology impacts the way children learn and grow. Through ongoing research and education, TCP continues to influence and shape policies and programs that bridge the Digital Divide and bring digital opportunity to all children and families.