Request for Input: Rationale for Pursuing STEM Careers

To forward the goal of strengthening the Society’s impact on science, I am pleased to share this message concerning science, technology, engineering, and mathematics advocacy on behalf of doctoral candidates Francisco Alonso and Paul Woo of Concordia University Irvine. –Leigh Ann Burns Naas, PhD, SOT President 2018–2019


Over the last few decades, there has been a decline in the number and quality of skilled workers entering the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce. The study in which you are being asked to participate is designed to identify positive factors and negative barriers that individuals experience in pursuing a career in STEM compared with those who pursued non-STEM careers. This study is being conducted by doctoral candidates Francisco Alonso and Paul Woo, under the supervision of Dr. Eugene Kim, dissertation chair, Concordia University Irvine School of Education. This study has been approved by the Institutional Review Board, Concordia University Irvine, in Irvine, California.

As two high school teachers pursuing our doctorates in educational leadership, we have seen a critical decline in interest by our students when it comes to pursuing careers in the fields of STEM. We have also heard and read from many industry experts, governmental agencies, and potential employers about how this decline in volume and quality of candidates could lead to an employment crisis and have a major detrimental economic impact in our society, as we continue to lose our competitive edge and technological lead in the global market.

We have an opportunity to help alleviate this potential problem and avert this projected crisis by identifying ways to effectively motivate and prepare our students to pursue the STEM careers of tomorrow. The survey has some questions geared toward STEM professionals, but we also need input from those not working in STEM. Please answer each question to the best of your ability. The survey will take between 15 and 30 minutes to complete. Click the link to read the Informed Consent form and participate in this study. Your candid and honest response could be the key to identifying new ways to get more of our students to choose to pursue a career in STEM! In order to create positive change, we need to work together, and you can help make that difference.

We are also asking that you forward this letter to coworkers, encouraging them to make a difference by participating in this very important study. The survey will be accessible until Wednesday, May 15, 2019. If you have any questions or comments regarding this study, please contact Francisco Alonso or Paul Woo.

As avid STEM education advocates, we would like to thank you in advance for taking part in this important research and for making the positive difference that will help our students, impact our economy, and have lasting effects for generations to come.

Respectfully yours,
Francisco J. Alonso and Paul P. Woo
Concordia University Irvine

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