Some argue that science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) literacy is a prerequisite for all. We understand that global economic integration increases economic competitiveness and places greater demands for educational attainment and skills development in STEM areas upon young people. Students no longer compete to become scientists and engineers with peers from neighboring states but from other countries. Similarly, geography, markets and regulations no longer shield inventors and innovators and their companies as they seek to secure advantages within industries.
We can ask fearfully: ‘will our children will be prepared to compete’ and ‘what can we do to ensure their competitiveness’? Asking the questioning differently produces greater possibility: ‘how do we seek to ensure that young people thrive within this setting’? Maybe, it’s semantics, but our work suggests that the two questions lead to distinct solutions. Our mission, vision and values help convey our position.