South Florida Science Center joins partners at Florida Capitol for STEM Day

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SFSCA teams up with Orlando Science Center and other partners including museums, science centers, educators and corporations from around the state at STEM Day in Tallahassee on Thursday, February 27, 2020. The goal is to engage legislators about the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education and to highlight the critical role that Science Centers and museums play in inspiring and creating the STEM workforce of tomorrow.

Participants will be stationed inside and outside the Capitol building with experiments, simulators, robots and more! Throughout the day, state legislators will take part in hands-on activities while learning how STEM education grows Florida’s technological workforce.  Science museums act as a hub for STEM learning and can easily facilitate opportunities between industry, education and private citizens. It is one of the few places where these three audiences can easily and effectively connect for discussion and demonstration. 

During STEM Day at the Capitol, participating partners, including student groups, will share their passion for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) with legislators, demonstrating the impact that their efforts can have on economic development across the state. STEM has evolved to become a critically important topic in education and industry. The importance of (and dependence on) technology is at an unprecedented level and continues to grow. Our country’s standing in the global marketplace is dependent on our ability to compete with other nations in technological innovation. Such success requires an educated youth base and a talented workforce. 

In recent years, less than one-third of university students in the United States have chosen to pursue a STEM field. The current STEM workforce is retiring and creating job vacancies, but colleges and universities aren’t producing enough STEM graduates to fill those roles. In addition, technological advancement is demanding a set of skills that many in our workforce do not currently possess. As a result, it is projected that the U.S. might be short as many as three million high-skilled workers in the near future. Industry must partner with educational institutions and informal learning centers like science museums to start preparing the future workforce for jobs that don’t even exist yet. 

Such partnerships provide opportunities to engage youth by bringing STEM subjects to life. By presenting the real-world applications of STEM skills in compelling ways, students are inspired to pursue further education and careers in STEM fields. And regardless of the field they enter, tomorrow’s workforce must have strong skills in problem-solving, critical thinking and collaboration. These skills are reinforced through active, challenge-based activities offered at museums and science centers.

STEM Day at the Capitol illustrates how this collaboration can help fill the STEM pipeline, and South Florida Science Center is excited to take part in the event. Technology displays and science demonstrations will be featured throughout the Capitol and will reinforce how Science Centers and museums light the spark of curiosity, promote future careers and build essential skills.