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International Robotics Competition Shows the Importance of STEM

STEM education may be at its highest point of discussion and a new worldwide robotics championship event shows just how necessary STEM education is for students nationwide.

“The 2015 VEX Robotics World Championship — an annual four-day competition — will bring together more than 800 teams and 15,000 students from the U.S. and more than two dozen countries,” reports Vince Bertram in a Courier-Journal special feature.

“Students will bring their strategically built robots — representing nearly a year of designing and fine-tuning — to compete for the world title.”

Bertram insists that there is more than just the championship at stake. He aligns the championship with the real world global competition that U.S. students face in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics related job fields. STEM geared jobs are among the top jobs of the future and where U.S. schools K-12 are looking to build concentrations in.

“According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nationwide employment in STEM fields is expected to grow to more than 9 million jobs by 2022,” according to Bertram.

“It’s estimated that 1.2 million jobs in STEM fields will go unfilled by 2018. A 2012 report from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology said that if the U.S. is to remain the world leader in science and technology, it must increase the number of undergraduate STEM degrees by 34 percent annually over current rates.”

There has been a push for increased technology in classrooms nationwide. With the new technology come the challenges of properly teaching students how to use the new technology followed by the application of the information they receive.

“Competitions like the VEX Robotics World Championship are not only fun, but give students an opportunity to apply what they’re learning in school to real-world situations in a competitive yet encouraging atmosphere,” argues Bertram.

“More importantly, however, they illustrate that progress is being made in an important nationwide effort to prepare our students for the jobs of tomorrow.”

All students choose their own career paths and what they want to become when they grow up. It’s not about forcing students into choosing a career path but making sure they know all of the options especially ones that need to be filled. Bertram’s article exposes just how important careers in STEM can be for the future of the U.S. workforce.

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