According to a 2022 report from the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES), workers in STEM occupations have higher median earnings and lower unemployment than their non-STEM counterparts. In 2019, STEM workers earned a median annual salary of $55,000, and non-STEM workers earned a median annual salary of $33,000. Also in 2019, unemployment was lower among the STEM labor force (2%) than the non-STEM labor force (4%). This pattern even held during the economic downturn associated with the coronavirus pandemic. STEM jobs have grown faster than non-STEM jobs since 2010, and many STEM jobs are projected to continue to grow in the future. 

LRCA is teaching students the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in STEM careers, as well as the collaborative problem solving skills that will benefit them in any career path they choose. When students understand how STEM education is relevant to their lives and future careers, they get excited. Through activity, project, and problem-based curricula, the engineering pathway gives students in kindergarten through high school a chance to identify problems, apply what they know, find unique solutions, and lead their own learning. 

Barry McCaskill, campus STEM Coordinator, says, “We’re excited to provide students learning opportunities through a robust STEM curriculum. By incorporating each of the four facets, students are prepared to solve complex, open-ended problems in a real-world context.” Students focus on the process of defining and solving a problem, not on getting the “right” answer. They learn how to apply STEM knowledge, skills, and habits of mind to make the world a better place through innovation.