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U.S. STEM Education Model

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Program Description

The Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF) is leading a groundbreaking STEM Education & Modeling Project to help increase the number of students who pursue majors and careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, the disciplines collectively known as STEM.  The project builds on a system dynamics model of the U.S. STEM education system developed by the Raytheon Company – the BHEF U.S. STEM Education Model – and gifted to BHEF in July 2009 (click here to see video of the model release). The model, which is free and available in open source for use by the public, is being managed by a partnership among BHEF, Raytheon and The Ohio State University’s Battelle Center for Mathematics and Science Education Policy.

The goals of the project are to:

  • Provide an organized and comprehensive approach to viewing and understanding the complex, multi-level nature of the U.S. and STEM education system.
  • Identify potential solutions that strengthen U.S. STEM education and workforce outcomes.
  • Differentiate among the most effective alternatives for investing in STEM education. 

The U.S. STEM Education Model is the first simulation model to examine the U.S. education system using system dynamics principles and tools. The model allows users to simulate various scenarios to determine whether they have the potential to increase the number of students choosing to major and graduate in STEM disciplines. The model uses census data and standardized test scores to track the flow of students through the K-16 education system and into careers in STEM teaching or STEM industries. Many factors affect the number of students who ultimately pursue STEM careers. The model attempts to capture these factors through a series of dynamic hypotheses and feedback loops that together determine the behavior of the system.


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