STEM, the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics has been the subject of debate and discussion for the past several years. Its implications far-reaching, effecting workforce development, national security concerns and immigration policy, to name a few.
In 2001, Andrew Raupp became a key influencer on the subject when he launched STEM.org. Under the name Initiative Science, he began addressing education policy and curriculum choices that effected Detroit schools. His mission was simple: to reinvent and improve STEM education in school curriculum by creating better synergy between subjects.
With a passion for Science and a love for Detroit, Andrew started to make a difference one school at a time. “In the beginning it was really about creating opportunities for Science in the classroom in what was basically, a Science desert. For a period of time, even the Detroit Science Center went out of business.”
Eventually, Initiative Science started to get noticed and schools began asking if they could tie in science with the math and social studies curriculum. Soon enough, what started with a focus on science, naturally grew into STEM education. “We focused a lot on post-industrial cities and their reinvention and how we could create a generation of STEM entrepreneurs, and I think we are beginning to see some of that momentum, here in Detroit.”
As of 2013, STEM was recognized by the United States Senate and has grown from working with a mere 50, k-12 students to over 100,000 today.