One of the biggest problems today is the concern over the STEM shortage; soon there will not be enough people with the proper skills and qualifications to meet the demand of STEM related careers. In fact, over 80 percent of jobs in the next decade will require a background and skills in the math and sciences.

Argonne National Laboratory

How will we meet the demand for STEM professionals?
Image: Argonne National Laboratory via Flickr

Some activists, like Al Gore, are focusing on creating intrinsic interest in science, math, engineering and technology through inspiration from role models. By connecting young students with people in STEM related careers, students can not only become more informed about what these careers are like and the rewards that accompany them, but can also become inspired by the stories told. For Al Gore, it’s all about the conversation, the discussion.

Moody’s Mega Math Challenge is taking a different approach to the STEM dilemma. First off, Moody’s Mega Math Challenge is not your average math competition. This challenge pushes high school students to take their math skills outside of the classroom and apply them in finding solutions to real-world problems of today. Through this competition, participants learn the value of teamwork and how math can be used as a powerful tool.

I think the approaches by Al Gore and Moody’s Mega Math Challenge are special in that they are bridging the gap between what goes on in the classroom and what goes on in the real world. They are showing students, ‘hey look what you can do with all that you’ve learned in school!’

To learn more about Moody’s Mega Math Challenge, click here!

Cover Image: Thompson Rivers University via Flickr