Leadership magazine March/April 2017 V46 No. 4 - Page 32

Robotics K-12 and your district :

THE ESSENCE OF STEM EDUCATION AND THE

E-TICKET TO UNLIMITED POSSIBILITIES

College and career readiness is a focus of the work we do in public schools . One way to get students excited about college and career , while building important skills like problem solving and developing self-reliance , may reside in robotics .
32 Leadership
If a district wants to lead its students into exciting college and career fields through a program that encouraging problem solving , creates logical thinkers , develops self-reliance , and forms technologically literate minds , implementing Robotics K-12 is the way to do it . Identification of emerging industries using Bureau of Labor statistics confirmed there will be more than 1.4 million new technology jobs created in the next 10 years ( California STEM Learning Network , Sept . 2014 ). Hesperia Unified School District ’ s ( HUSD ) Superintendent and Board recognized the need to prepare students for the highly marketable field of technology . Robotics was the coveted E-ticket to gain access to that prosperous pathway . It quickly became the foundation to cultivate HUSD students ’ interest in Science , Technology , Engineering , and Mathematics ( STEM ).
Knowing almost all of the 30 fastestgrowing occupations in the next decade will require some background in STEM ( Business Center for a College-and Career-Ready
America ), Robotics K-12 served as a platform to meld industry and modern skills at HUSD . Between 2014-2024 , the number of STEM jobs will grow 17 % as compared to 12 % for non-STEM jobs ( Change the Equation . The Diversity Dilemma , 2015 ). Notably , for district stakeholders , STEM workers command higher wages , earning 26 percent more than their non-STEM occupations ( U . S . Department of Commerce , Economics and Statistics Administration , STEM : Good Jobs Now and for the Future , July 2011 ).
HUSD also recognized technologybased jobs traditionally tend to be recession proof . Since 2007 , computer and math jobs have grown by 21 %, which is faster than any other occupational category ( Brookings Institution , Still Searching : Job Vacancies and STEM Skills , 2014 ). The district ’ s impetus for introducing robotics was further evidenced by statistics signifying “ the number of U . S . companies reporting difficulty
By Cindy Costa