Looking at the bigger picture with ‘STEM Education’: A new launch in Frontiers in Education

From the phone you’re holding, to the WiFi being used right now, many technologies that are second nature to us are the successes of innovators in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). But the STEM field serves far more than our love for ever-evolving technologies.

With a rapidly increasing population, we face an unprecedented environmental challenge to feed 9 billion people by 2050. STEM fields are key not only to the gadgets we use, but for addressing threats to the fundamental way we live.

To face these challenges, countries across the world are looking to experts in STEM for the future. The United States Department of Commerce¹ found that in the last decade, employment in STEM occupations increased by 24.4%, compared to 4.0% in non-STEM occupations.

Yet many countries find themselves with a problem. Despite the demand, there is a shortage of skilled STEM workers for upcoming years. The UK government initiative ‘Defence STEM engagement’, states that the UK is encountering ‘a national skills shortage related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics’. Its aim is to devise new strategies to enhance STEM engagement with younger people. Similarly, the European Union’s EU STEM Coalition is developing education in STEM subjects across Europe.

Recognizing the need for an international platform publishing research on these key issues, Frontiers in Education announces the launch of new section, STEM Education. We are pleased to welcome Professor Lianghuo Fan of the University of Southampton, United Kingdom, as its Specialty Chief Editor. An expert in mathematics education, Professor Fan’s research interests include mathematics teaching, learning and assessment, international and comparative education and education policy.

From the phone you’re holding, to the WiFi being used right now, many technologies that are second nature to us are the successes of innovators in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). But the STEM field serves far more than our love for ever-evolving technologies.

Professor Fan emphasizes that the importance of STEM Education to the development of modern societies is internationally recognized, however as a field of research it is still in relative infancy. With the aim to improve engagement for students and the professional development of teachers in STEM, open access to research will be integral to the development of the field.

“Open access means faster, wider, more lasting and more equitable access. This is not deniable and we have to embrace it and better still, lead it” – Prof. Lianghuo Fan

The section will bring together experts ranging from all areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education, providing a collaborative platform to direct key research. The Associate Editors for STEM Education are:

Dr. Chunxia Qi, Beijing Normal University, China

Dr. Subramaniam Ramanathan, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore,

Dr. Ida Mok, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Dr. Josip Slisko, Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, Mexico

Dr. Marina Milner-Bolotin, University of British Columbia, Canada

Dr. Kotaro Komatsu, Shinshu University, Japan

STEM Education is now ready to welcome high-quality submissions and Research Topic proposals.

[1] using data produced by U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.esa.doc.gov/reports/stem-jobs-2017-update

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