The ever changing technological landscape in the United States creates equally dynamic shifts in the need for technical skills in the workplace. In the article Career Education Needs New Supports, Skill Focus, National Report Says, Education Week reveals a Bill working it’s way through the U.S. Congress to give States more flexibility to target grant money as needed by local labor needs. As the marketplace accounts for the need for technical careers that do not require a four-year degree, school and adult education also need to be able to provide the necessary training and adapt to the needs for flexibility in career guidance.

Technology is reducing the need for manual labor while increasing the need for technical skills requiring high levels of knowledge. The report stated, demand for education and students is challenging in that it can be difficult to identify “viable career options and the associated education and training requirements.”

The rise of the need for these skills,m and the reality that not every student will seek and achieve a four-year degree is the subject of a report from The National Academies of Science Engineering and Medicine, Building America’s Skilled Technical Workforce that backs this legislation, to help school counselors and students identify career paths and the appropriate training. This report was summarized by Jeff Bingaman, “if our nation does not adequately develop and sustain its skilled technical workforce, the consequences will be seen in lower productivity, fewer job opportunities, and a lower standard of living for Americans.”

While the needs for STEM training are changing rapidly, the ability of education systems to adapt moves much more slowly. The availability of cost-effective solutions that can be quickly integrated into the curriculum of schools, such as Robots4STEM, is a big boost for schools. Robots4STEM also provides classroom-ready lesson plans reducing the need to hire and train additional educators.

So what is Robots4STEM? Is a program from Robokind that provides interactive tools so that students can learn to code robotics using Jettlingo, a drag and drop coding language. Jettlingo is used to program Jett, a robot and avatar, that allows students to learn coding and apply their knowledge to real world applications. While targeted for students pursuing higher education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, STEM, the critical thinking and problem-solving skills learned through this program is also highly valuable for students who will pursue careers right out of high school in technical fields.

Featured image: welding robot