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Kenny Olmstead
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I agree completely that STEM literacy should be seen as important for everyone. I feel that there are two issues at work here. One is the lack of students actually going into STEM fields. The other is in a way a more subtle problem of showing non-STEM students (and professionals) that the skill-set learned through STEM subjects is applicable in seemingly unrelated fields. It is this second problem that I find most interesting, as a non-STEM educated professional. One way I think this can be accomplished in schools is to apply STEM style learning (or STEM tools) to what are seen as "non-STEM subjects." One brief example is sentiment analysis. This is a common way to analyze large bodies of text (usually related to social media) and involves the T and maybe the E. What if you had students in a decidedly non-STEM class like English use sentiment analysis tools? Instead of using it for Twitter, use it for Middlemarch. Showing students that something as techy as sentiment analysis can be applied in a non-tech field to great results could show them the value of STEM style learning, even if they are going to be novelists some day. The same logic can apply to professionals, every office can be shown that the tools and concepts valued by STEM subjects can be applied virtually anywhere.
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Sep 26, 2012