May 27, 2015      

There are five million job openings in the U.S. labor market, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, making it the best availability since 2001.

And 15 percent of those jobs are in the tech field.

The US is faced with a growing number of jobs that require a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education background, and there are a limited number of candidates to fill these positions.

In 2015, $100 million in federal grants were made available through White House initiative, TechHire. This supports a potential workforce by providing training and certification for those looking to enter a technical field or career. More and more high schools and universities across the country are implementing STEM education training, courses, and certification programs.

In this day and age, information is easily accessed on the internet, forcing educators to reinvent their teaching approach to bring relevance to information and provide real-world application. By creating an environment of hands-on learning, students are more likely to continue their education in a STEM field like computer sciences, mathematics, and especially robotics.

That’s why KUKA Robotics created the infographic below, showing the important and increasing role robotics can play in STEM education. Here are some key stats from the infographic:

  • Only 16 percent of American high school seniors are proficient in mathematics and interested in a STEM career
  • Only 30 percent of high school seniors who took the ACT test were cleared for college-level sciences
  • Average income for STEM career: $77,880/year

Robotics in STEM Education

The infographic was also created to help promote KUKA KORE, a program that offers high schools, technical centers, community colleges and universities the opportunity to incorporate certified robot education on KUKA products into their STEM, Advanced Manufacturing and Mechatronics programs.

Students will learn basic robot programing and operation skills on exercise hardware utilizing the same robots and control technology utilized in a variety of industries. Educators and students are trained in the use of advanced robotic technology.

Getting more students involved in STEM education is a daunting, yet necessary challenge. Even more so when it comes to women. According to the National Science Foundation, women make up 46% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of jobs in STEM fields.

The recent National Robotics League grand championship might help get the needle pointed in the right direction, however. An all-girls team, called the “Beaumonsters”, came in fourth place for the design of their combat robot. The Beaumonsters was the only all-girls group among the 65 teams at the competition.

According to CNN, three of the four girls want to pursue a STEM field in college. It could be a small step to help an aging industry dominated by males.

“I’ve worked with this same group now for all that time. They are very passionate, talented and very smart,” says Patrick Christopher, owner of Christopher Tool and Manufacturing, a family-owned firm that makes aircraft parts has worked with the Beaumonsters for the last four years. “They’re all very interested in engineering and I would hire them – after they graduate from college.”