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New report from MiSTEM Advisory Council outlines recommendations to accelerate STEM opportunities in Michigan
January 27, 2023
LANSING – The MiSTEM Advisory Council, which brings together business, higher education, K-12 education and philanthropic leaders, has published its annual report with key recommendations to propel Michigan into the forefront of STEM education.
Each year, state officials and Michigan Legislators look to the council’s recommendations to create equitable pathways for all students to consider and pursue high-wage, high-demand careers. Together, MiSTEM Network’s 16 regional hubs and the MiSTEM Advisory Council have set forth a strategic vision for STEM in Michigan.
As an engineer by training, I know strong STEM experiences prepare students for the high-skilled jobs of the future and lay the foundation for prosperity in our communities,” said Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “These recommendations will help us build on the progress we’ve made through historic per-pupil education investments, funding for new textbooks, technology, and classrooms, and postsecondary education and skills training. When we help our students explore the world of STEM, we keep Michigan at the forefront of scientific and economic advancement and build on our state’s tradition of innovation.
As Michigan works toward our educational goal of 60% of adults attaining a postsecondary degree or certificate by 2030, STEM plays a vital role in that effort.
“There has never been a better time to prioritize STEM education and there has never been a greater need,” said Sarah Szurpicki, MiSTEM Advisory Council Chair and the Director of the Office of Sixty by 30. “The MiSTEM Network helps Michigan students engage in deep learning today, and grow the critical thinking, collaboration, and creative innovation skills that are required by the jobs of tomorrow.
By increasing STEM learning opportunities in all communities, we will help meet the growing demand for innovative employees in Michigan and foster important social, learning and employment skills such as cooperation, teamwork, problem-solving, responsibility, communication and leadership. STEM learning builds on curiosity to help our young people become lifelong learners — the type of learners who can adapt to whatever the future holds.
Michigan has a strong talent base, quality educational institutions, thriving industries and the fourth-largest engineering and development workforce in the nation – all of which help to ensure Michigan continues as a leader in STEM education and talent development.
“Starting their career exploration early allows students to discover whether a rewarding career in STEM is right for them,” said Lee Graham, member of the MiSTEM Advisory Council and Executive Director of Operating Engineers 324 LMEC. “I am proud to play a role in supporting Michigan students and our economy by preparing talent to fill the careers of tomorrow.”
For 2023, the Council identified the following recommendations to implement this strategy:
- Focus all grant funds on 3P (problem-, project- and place-based) learning. Align all grant criteria and associated activities under a single core focus area to develop and implement innovative, integrated 3P STEM learning experiences.
- Invest in strategic partnerships to deliver high-quality 3P STEM experiences. Create the infrastructure to build business-community-education STEM partnerships
- Inspire STEM engagement. Motivate participation in STEM education and connect learning to career pathways.
- Measure education and workforce outcomes. Track and report success in alignment with the state’s Sixty by 30 goals and federal STEM goals.
To learn more about the MiSTEM Network, visit www.michigan.gov/MiSTEM.
Supporting Michigan’s Sixty by 30 Goal
In addition to preparing young STEM talent, nearly two years ago, the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity joined Governor Gretchen Whitmer to launch the Michigan Reconnect program, expanding tuition-free access to adults 25 and older. To date, we’ve celebrated:
- 112,000+ Michiganders who applied for Reconnect
- 24,000+ Reconnectors enrolled
- 2,000+ Completed degrees or certificates
In the governor’s State of the State address, she announced the prospect of empowering even more people on a path to good-paying, high-skill jobs by lowering the eligibility age for Michigan Reconnect from 25 to 21.