We’re all in new territory—we’re committed to a future where sustainability is at the heart of our economies. Unfortunately too few students are obtaining even the basic STEM education they’ll need to navigate that new reality. Worse, few are learning how critical an understanding of sustainability is to their future. As the news every day reveals, most urgent now is the rebuilding of the world in a sustainable way—one that provides opportunities to everyone, but not at the cost of future generations or the planet.
Ironically, at this moment when we need more STEM training to help students prepare for the transition to a sustainable economy, schools are struggling to hire and keep STEM teachers. Some leave teaching for higher paid jobs with companies. Some schools are even cutting their STEM programs to meet budget demands. Now with the COVID pandemic many students must learn online with limited opportunities to develop their critical thinking skills; explore project-based learning; or even get the basic scientific understanding they need to help be part of this transition.