For every two open STEM jobs right now, there’s only one qualified candidate.
And while lots of people are talking about the dearth of hands-on STEM experience for young people, the Boy Scouts of America is doing something about it.
Last week, the BSA announced that its popular STEM Scouts pilot program will add seven new councils this fall, bringing the total to 20.
“Expanding this program affords us the opportunity to help youth more easily grasp what they learn in the classroom — or, in some cases, get ahead of what they will learn in class,” said BSA Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh.
The expansion is great news for young people in or near Greenville, S.C.; Hattiesburg, Miss.; Louisville, Ky.; Raleigh, N.C.; Reading, Pa.; Santa Ana, Calif.; and Wailuku, Hawaii.
Students in those cities will soon have access to a program that is captivating young people in existing pilot councils.
STEM Scouts introduces boys and girls in elementary school, middle school and high school to science, technology, engineering and mathematics — fields where young people say they want more hands-on, real-world experiences than they’re currently getting.
“Young people have an incredible sense of curiosity that pairs so well with the studies of science, technology, engineering and mathematics and Scouting, but studies show that they’re not getting what they need to grow their understanding and interest in these subjects,” Surbaugh said.
STEM Scouts gives them what they need, and families are noticing. From fall 2015 to spring 2016, STEM Scouts grew by more than 30 percent. Expanding the pilot will continue the momentum.
New STEM Scouts pilot councils
- Blue Ridge Council; Greenville, S.C.
- Pine Burr Council; Hattiesburg, Miss.
- Lincoln Heritage Council; Louisville, Ky.
- Occoneechee Council; Raleigh, N.C.
- Hawk Mountain Council; Reading, Pa.
- Orange County Council; Santa Ana, Calif.
- Maui County; Wailuku, Hawaii
Existing STEM Scouts pilot councils
- Capitol Area Council; Austin, Texas
- Pathway to Adventure; Chicago, Ill.
- Circle Ten Council; Dallas, Texas
- Denver Area Council; Denver, Colo.
- Connecticut Rivers Council; East Hartford, Conn.
- Sam Houston Area Council; Houston, Texas
- Great Smoky Mountain Council, Knoxville, Tenn.
- Crossroads of America Council; Indianapolis, Ind.
- Middle Tennessee Council; Nashville, Tenn.
- Greater St. Louis Area Council; St. Louis, Mo.
- Catalina Council; Tucson, Ariz.
- Garden State Council; Westampton, N.J.
- Samoset Council; Weston, Wis.