100Kin10, a multi-sector network committed to training a hundred thousand science, technology, engineering, and math teachers by 2021, has released an interactive map showing how various challenges in STEM education are intricately interconnected.
Based on crowdsourced research and analysis conducted over two years, the network's "Grand Challenges" website maps more than a hundred core challenges clustered under seven themes — preparation, prestige, instructional materials, teacher leadership, professional growth, elementary STEM, and the value of S, T, and E. For each challenge, ranging from the lack of racial and gender diversity among STEM teachers, to limited resources, to the perception of the importance of STEM disciplines, the map displays a "circle of influence" — "incoming influences," or things that affect it, and "outgoing influences," or those things it affects.
The network also identified six challenges that have the greatest influence on STEM education — providing time for STEM teachers to participate in professional development during the school day; enabling districts to identify high-quality computer science curricula; securing time for STEM teachers to collaborate during the school day; increasing the number of testing and accountability systems that promote STEM teacher creativity in the classroom; increasing the number of states with strong science standards; and providing scholarships or loan forgiveness for STEM college majors entering STEM teaching jobs.
In addition to the map, 100Kin10 announced commitments totaling nearly $28.2 million from AT&T, the CME Group Foundation, the Overdeck Family Foundation, and other corporations and foundations in support of two hundred and eighty partner organizations working to address long-term, systemic challenges in the field.
"By mapping for the first time the interconnected challenges and opportunities in STEM education, we're deepening our understanding of the entire system," said Talia Milgrom-Elcott, executive director and co-founder of 100Kin10. "This roadmap will allow us to mobilize 100Kin10 partners to address the root causes of the STEM teacher shortage head-on — and in doing so, help ensure America remains a beacon of innovation and competitiveness for generations to come."