K-12 STEM Learning Opportunities Funded by Endress+Hauser and Purdue
A lack in STEM education leaves manufacturers with a real possibility of stagnation due to labor shortages in technology related fields. Endress+Hauser and Purdue IN-MaC have collaborated to create education systems to combat the problem.
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education has increased in importance as economics are driven more and more by technology. The United States has fallen behind in STEM education, and many students feel that they don't have the ability or been provided the opportunity to enter the field because of educational pitfalls. The lack of adequate STEM education in US schools has the possibility of creating an even larger shortage of trained professionals in the technology sectors.
Many industries are experiencing a shortage of skilled personnel, and the shortage has caused an inflation in these workers wages when compared to other career paths. The median annual wage for non-STEM careers is nearly half of those who have STEM related degrees. The inflated cost of education has also helped to exacerbate the problem by causing a lot of recent high school graduates to choose paths that take them directly into the workforce instead of pursuing higher education.
Endress+Hauser and Purdue IN-MaC hope to expand access to STEM-learning opportunities for school age students in Indiana. Image used courtesy of Endress+Hauser
Endress+Hauser and Purdue IN-MaC Collaboration
As a means to address the need for STEM education among youth, Endress+Hauser partnered with Purdue Indiana Next Generation Manufacturing Competitiveness Center (IN-MaC) to open its "Design and Innovation Studio," a center focused on providing hands-on STEM education for K-8 students. Located in Indiana (the state Endress+Hauser USA is headquarted in), the center aims to excite younger generations about STEM-related careers. The learning center’s grand opening was on September 15th, and Endress+Hauser welcomed the school's faculty to the event.
Students from the Indian Creek School system will have access to coding, 3D printing, engineering and science modules, robotics, Spheros, and Little Bits at the new center. Image used courtesy of Indian Creek Elementary School
The center's curriculum is designed to fit within Indiana state educational standards, and teachers can use the center to extend classroom activities. The educational center will give both teachers and students of the elementary and junior high schools in the Indian Creek School system access to coding opportunities, 3D printing, engineering and science modules, robotics, Spheros, and Little Bits. Additional funding was added to create a second location.
The Youth STEM LEAD program funded by Endress+Hauser provides STEM opportunities for high school students. Image used courtesy of Canva
In addition to opening the Design and Innovation Studio at the Endress+Hauser location, Endress+Hauser has opened a Youth STEM LEAD program for high school students. The high school oriented program is designed to help older students learn directly from Endress+Hauser subject matter experts. Once a month students will get the opportunity to attend a 90-minute class designed to educate students on different opportunities within STEM fields. Students will have the ability to choose some of the subjects they learn through online surveys taken before the class, although some of the curriculum will be specifically chosen by educators.
STEM related education has become more important than ever in today’s technology driven economy. Endress+Hauser and Purdue IN-MaC hope that with the addition of new programs for K-12 students, they can inspire the future workforce to pursue STEM-related careers.