How to Build a Strong STEM Pipeline

Addressing Gaps in the STEM Pipeline

In the 1970s educators and policymakers began visualizing the path a student takes from elementary and middle school to an eventual degree and career in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) as a pipeline. Today, this “STEM Pipeline” continues to act as a helpful representation of the linear steps that cultivate interest in these fields throughout a child’s education.

However, as we seek to improve the levels of diversity within STEM fields for historically disadvantaged and underrepresented groups, it can be helpful to identify a few central reasons why students might lose interest in these subjects over time.

This paper explores a few of the common gaps that exist in the STEM Pipeline, as well as a special section detailing how 2022-23 New Jersey Teacher of the Year, Christine Girtain, developed her own STEM Pipeline using Camp Invention® as its base.

Highlights include:

  • Why math anxiety and science anxiety cause students to avoid STEM subjects
  • Reasons why the STEM fields continue to suffer from a lack of diversity
  • Solutions for common gaps in the STEM pipeline

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