Business, political, nonprofit and community leaders gathered May 18 for a forum on STEM2 Education, hearing of the need for more science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medical education in Northeast Florida. The forum was the inaugural event for the Northeast Florida STEM2 Hub, a new nonprofit effort to align and promote such programs.
Speakers spoke of the stark need for STEM talent in Northeast Florida, saying there were more than 10 STEM jobs in Northeast Florida for every qualified candidate in the region. Through its work, the STEM2 Hub hopes to close these gaps -- through the creation of a shared vision, clear metrics, and the seeking of grant funding for additional STEM-related programming.
The group also released its first State of STEM2 report, which paints a number of challenges for schools and the community in Northeast Florida, including less than 50 percent of students in the state performing at or above grade level in science, and nearly two-thirds of districts in the state having fewer than 68 percent of their students performing at or above grade level in mathematics.
The STEM2 Hub’s board will begin meeting over the summer.