(BPT) - As America races to accelerate innovation across science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), public and private sector investments are essential to advancing new technologies. The bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 represents a solid step forward in the country's path to investing smartly in STEM education and programming. Notably, the act allocates investments in STEM at K-12, community college, undergraduate, and graduate levels. It's one way to ensure that more people from all backgrounds, regions, and communities around the country gain access to STEM education and training opportunities.
However, the responsibility to expand access to STEM resources does not rest solely on the government's shoulders. Commercial and private institutions, as well as individuals (especially teachers and parents), continue to shore up the country's competitiveness by working to educate and inspire future generations to explore STEM careers. And good thing, because STEM occupations are projected to grow at twice the rate of all other occupations in the next decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2019-29 employment projections.
A thriving example of a private program that helps prepare young people for STEM careers, one award-winning online collection of hands-on STEM activities attracts thousands of visitors each month. Offered by 4-H, America's largest youth organization, in partnership with HughesNet, the world's largest high-speed satellite Internet provider, the platform presents hundreds of interactive activities designed for students from Pre-K through high school. As easy to do at home as they are in a school setting, here are just a few of the activities available on the platform to ignite student interest in STEM:
- With the How Do Satellites Communicate Augmented Reality (AR) Experience, viewers explore an animated model of a satellite and how it connects people to the Internet.
- In this Space Exploration Experience, a virtual astronaut explains how to grow food in space, operate a lunar terrain vehicle and see firsthand what it takes to live and work among the stars.
- Code Your Communication educates budding computer programmers about coding through this fun activity creating a bracelet with a message in binary code.
- Science Bug: Electrical Circuits has children exploring how circuits work and even making their own light-up "science bug" necklace.
- Get in Gear! teaches students about the power and mathematics of gears as they assemble and test different sets to see how small actions can create big movements.
"The STEM students of today are tomorrow's technology leaders. These 4-H activities make high-quality STEM education materials available to them no matter where they live," said Peter Gulla, senior vice president of marketing at Hughes. "The innovative engineering behind HughesNet requires a strong science, technology, engineering, and math foundation, so we understand the importance of STEM. We proudly support 4-H in inspiring the new generation of STEM professionals."
HughesNet delivers a fast connection for people who live beyond the reach of other Internet services. Recognized as the Best Rural Internet Provider of 2022 and Best Satellite Internet Provider of 2022 by U.S. News & World Report 360 Reviews, HughesNet high-speed satellite Internet connects millions of Americans to STEM education and much more. Visit hughesnet.com/4H to access a world of online STEM resources.