In an effort to help ASTC members stay current on the wide variety of public sector programs in STEM worldwide that are potentially available to our science centers and museums, ASTC publishes an informational series entitled STEM Public Programs: Updates and Opportunities for Science Centers. In this regular series of electronic briefs, we will share details from our meetings and conversations with key representatives of public sector organizations that are committed to advancing STEM education. We will feature the latest information on missions and programs, as well as the potential synergies and connection points for ASTC members.
With increasing public awareness about the importance of STEM education and the need to strengthen STEM capabilities more broadly, there has been a responding increase in public programs in STEM education and a dizzying array of organizations and acronyms attached to this priority. ASTC members will benefit from a clearer understanding of these programs and the processes of engagement.
In the United States alone, 13 federal agencies have committed over $3.4 billion to more than 250 different programs in support of STEM education. The United States is not alone in this effort. Many countries are examining and expanding their efforts to meet the growing need for comprehensive, creative and coordinated STEM education. Science education is a key element in the agendas international agencies and organizations. The UNESCO science, education, and communication programs, for example, work together through the Intersectoral Platform on Science Education, which is supporting initiatives in response to the need for more innovative methods for science teaching to encourage interest in science and engineering.
The material regularly distributed in these ASTC electronic briefs will necessarily be widely varying and not always universally relevant to ASTC members. Nevertheless, the scope of the reports will be a reflection of the scope of our field and its relationship to so many aspects of science in our global society today. We hope to feature public programs operating in the United States, in other ASTC member countries, and in regional and global organizations.