According to the STEM Education Coalition:

  • 16 percent of American high school seniors are proficient in mathematics and interested in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) career
  • 30 percent of high school seniors who took the ACT test cleared for college-level sciences
  • The government has seen a growing number of jobs in STEM careers with a limited number of qualified individuals to fill the positions.

“Understanding technology is becoming an expectation in all roles within the workforce and as the workplace continues to evolve, everyone needs critical thinking and problem-solving skills that STEM education fosters,” according to a Tech Crunch article, ‘Exposing Every Student to STEM.’

This struggle might remind you of a program at the University of Cincinnati College of Engineering and Applied Sciences that we introduced you to about a year ago. Eugene Rutz of the college, and Gretchen Kellerstrass, a UC engineering student, presented a webinar with us called Solving the STEM Shortage with Flipped Instruction and Dual Enrollment.

Remember? Gretchen was one of more than 500 students from 12 Ohio high schools to participate in this dual enrollment program at UC. Using Sonic Foundry’s Mediasite webcast platform to create a flipped classroom, students view lectures by UC faculty at their convenience, and classroom time is led by high school teachers who walk them through activities and explain how the lessons will apply to their lives and careers.

Turns out the STEM struggle is real everywhere, because a school over 2,600 miles away in Guatemala was watching and eager to start a similar program. Eugene and a colleague, professor Jeffrey Kastner, recently presented UC’s program to the dean and department heads of Universidad Del Valle De Guatemala Engineering School, as well as five high schools, including two all girls’ schools. The plan is to implement a program similar to UC’s in each high school.  The Guatemalan schools will re-use UC’s lectures, recorded via Mediasite, and translated into Spanish.

“We’re helping to provide a pathway for more high school students to come into engineering. The number of people who go into engineering in Guatemala is very small,” Rutz said.

Professor Kastner is also planning a study-abroad trip for College of Engineering and Applied Sciences students to interact with UVG and local high school students.

“It’s delightful to see our program work in Guatemala, and our goal is to expand further into Latin American countries,” Rutz said.

You can watch Eugene and Gretchen’s webinar for free here, and learn more about UC’s Mediasite story at www.sonicfoundry.com/customer/university-of-cincinnati/.