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California Educators, Employers Look to Boost “STEM” Programs

Aired 11/18/13 on KPBS News.

California’s education community is focusing on science and math courses this week. It’s looking at how to expand “STEM” programs in California schools. “STEM” stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Ben Adler, Capital Public Radio

Caleb Leung (left) and Scully Randlett, 7th graders at Alice Fong Yu K-8 Chinese Immersion School in San Francisco, build a cantilever bridge Monday using paper rolls and scotch tape at the STEM Symposium in Sacramento.

California’s education community is focusing on science and math courses this week.

It’s looking at how to expand “STEM” programs in California schools. “STEM” stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said too few students are graduating with the necessary “STEM” skills that employers are looking for.

“We have to have the engineers graduating from our schools to fill the jobs," Torlakson said. "There are tens of thousands of jobs in engineering and science — in this state, today — that are unfilled, that employers cannot find the talent to do the inventing, to do the improvements in technology that will make for a better life and a strong economy.”

A two-day “STEM” conference that began Monday is drawing 2,000 people to Sacramento — from educators and students to business and philanthropy leaders.

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