By now you have heard the statistics. Most of the new jobs being created require a post-secondary degree, and there is a premium for jobs in STEAM fields – science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. The number of STEAM positions in the U.S. is growing by 17 percent, compared to less than 10 percent for occupations in other fields. It makes you wonder what El Paso is doing to ensure that our students are not left behind.

El Paso’s regional educational institutions are proactively implementing various STEAM programs and initiatives to prepare students for this new economic reality.

For example, earlier this year, the Success Through Technology Education, or STTE, Foundation, gathered 1,200 middle and high school students for STEAMx, two days of interactive workshops, exhibitions, and competitions to solve STEAM problems.

It’s important that El Paso students not get shut out of the new tech revolution that is sweeping the globe. That is why the STTE Foundation created an awards banquet that could celebrate and acknowledge the educators that are at the forefront of STEAM education.

The STTE Awards, sponsored by CREEED, honored a wide range of initiatives, from the Del Valle Leadership STEM Academy to the Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University. Awardees also included the Eastwood High School robotics team and the Center for STEM Education at Harmony Public Schools.

El Paso school districts recently posted huge year-on-year gains in the number of students achieving “Meets” or “Masters” scores in the end-of-course algebra STAAR exam, leapfrogging us from below the state average to exceeding it. And with increased exposure, more students appear to be choosing a STEAM curriculum in high school.

The progress happening in our education system is a sign that we can adapt to and embrace change and innovation. As the El Paso Forward movement has reminded us, we need to build on this momentum to create more opportunities for the next generation.

Beto Pallares

Board member, STTE foundation

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