In order for the Nebraska economy to grow and thrive, today’s students need to be prepared to develop the high-tech agriculture, software and advanced manufacturing skills that will attract businesses to the state and keep them here. And in the 8-3 school day, there is simply no time to devote
to the in-depth, hands-on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) experiences required to build a base for these skills.
Expanded Learning Opportunites (ELOs) are afterschool or summer programing, and are an ideal environment for STEM learning to thrive. STEM-focused ELO programs have been proven to produce:
- Improved attitudes toward STEM fields and careers
- Increased STEM capacities and skills
- Higher likelihood of graduation and pursuing a STEM career
Catherine Lang, the former Commissioner of Nebraska Department of Labor and the Director of the Department of Economic Development said:
“Nebraska has worked hard to develop businesses that require high-skill, high-wage, and high-demand workers. To keep this competitive advantage, we need an
abundant and talented workforce ready to seize opportunities when they emerge. Afterschool programs, especially strands focusing on the STEM areas, will play a huge role in helping Nebraska develop a comprehensive talent pipeline we
need to succeed in the future.”
The data below how STEM and informal Expanded Learning Opportunities intersect.