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Trump administration releases US science education plan

Congressionally mandated report focuses more on workforce development than higher education

by Andrea Widener
December 7, 2018

Creating a science-savvy workforce is at the heart of a new plan to guide federal science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education programs in the US. The plan, released Dec. 4, was created by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Science and Technology Council, a group of federal science agencies.

The inaugural STEM education plan, written during Barack Obama’s administration, focused on higher education, where the federal government has more influence. But this new plan highlights a wider swath of STEM education. Among the recommendations are more regional partnerships to make sure STEM education is serving local economies, more programs to increase diversity, and more emphasis on mathematics and computer literacy.

This plan, which comes out every five years, will likely have minimal effect on STEM education nationally since most science education is directed at the state and local level. But it could influence how federal agencies spend their STEM education dollars. The National Science Foundation has already announced creation of a Data Science Corps aimed at improving computer science knowledge in the workforce.


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