Advocacy of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) in our education systems and communities is life-changing for young Texans.
Just ask Paula.
At nine years old, Paula’s favorite subject is math. Thanks to STEM advocacy, big opportunities are about to open for this bright young lady…
All because of a teacher who saw potential and encouraged Paula to join a LEGO® robotics team when she was nine.
Paula’s story demonstrates what STEM advocacy can accomplish. It changes the lives of kids for the better, prepares them for college and careers, and transforms communities in Texas and around the world.
FIRST® in Texas is all about STEM Advocacy, and that means making amazing LEGO® robotics programs available to kids as young as six years old. In fact, there are four programs that young STEM geniuses can join between grade school and high school:
Each program brings students one step closer to succeeding in higher education and finding a rewarding career.
The data shows this to be true. For example, out of those who participated in the FIRST® robotics programs:
That’s a lot of mind-blowing numbers!
Texas needs STEM education more than ever as STEM takes a central role in the Texas workforce. For example, according to a report by the Texas Workforce Commission (under “Occupational Projections”), the top eight fastest-growing occupations in Texas through 2024 will all be STEM-related fields.
The Texas Workforce Commission is helping prepare students for these fast-growing industries through their support of FIRST® programs in Texas. Close to 5,000 students each year are able to learn STEM and soft skills through their participation on robotics teams while gaining valuable hands-on experience in a competitive environment at statewide competitions. These programs develop the foundational skills needed to find success in STEM-related careers.
STEM Advocacy is a building block that prepares the way.
Someone tells a student about a STEM opportunity like FIRST®, the student joins a robotics team, gaining new skills, friends, and contacts, and thrives as a result of their participation in FIRST® programs. Next, that same student has access to scholarship opportunities available only to FIRST® participants. These scholarships further their education options. As a FIRST® alumni, they also have access to valuable internships, many of which are with FIRST in Texas Partners. Lastly, they have the type of resume which makes them highly sought after employee candidates.
Here are just a few of the STEM-related dream careers that are out there:
STEM advocacy can change the course of an individual’s life. It paves the way to a successful future for kids like Paula.
But it also has a ripple effect on a larger scale. It transforms communities, even entire states. STEM advocacy means Texas workforce advocacy. It means Texas technology advocacy. Ultimately, it means you’re advocating for the Texas economy, which means a higher standard of living for everyone. It is a wonderful cause because it changes the lives of individuals, but benefits everyone.