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 Over the next 20 years there will be thousands of jobs in science, technology, engineering and math fields and right now the projections show there won’t be nearly enough American’s to fill those well paying positions. Why is that? A big part of the reason is we aren’t doing enough to get kids excited about STEM careers and we aren’t giving them the opportunities in school to get a head start. Even worse, if you are a student in a lower income school district; there’s a good chance there are no opportunities for STEM learning beyond basic math and science.

Team USA STEM is part of that solution. We will use motorsports to give students across the US access to STEM learning opportunities both online and in person. It will be a fully interactive experience for high school students to actually participate in the operations and decision making for the Team USA STEM.

We will have weekly live online STEM learning sessions that will use race car preparation and strategy to excite and educate at the same time.

Team USA STEM is an effort to use motorsports and auto repair training to get young boys and girls interested in pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math. We do this though hands on training in both motorsports and auto repair. Team member will work first on street-cars and then race cars. Besides learning life skills in auto repair, we will teach the STEM principles that were used in the design and building of the cars.

What do team members get to do? Over time, they will learn to work on all aspects of the car. Team members who stick with the program join our race team, and get to work on racecars in the shop. Regular participants achieve this level in about a year. Eventually they will get to travel to the races and help make decisions critical to the success of the team. Some or our racecars will be entirely managed by Team USA STEM members. On those cars, the youth team members will make all the decisions on race setup and strategy.  Yes, you read that correctly. We will prove that we can compete at the highest levels with youth team members running the show. Our adult crew chief will only step in to override decisions if there is a potential for a dangerous outcome. If we reach our funding goals we will have an all-female team as well. We know women should have the exact same opportunities as the men and we will do our best to foster that every day.

Parents should know, team members will get dirty. They may come home dirty. Their clothes will get dirty and won’t be something you’ll want them to wear outside of the shop. This by the way is part of the fun!

We teach the safe way to work on cars and safe methods for using tools. Team members won’t be allowed to use a tool until they have demonstrated they know the proper usage for the tool. Our members work in teams with adult supervision at all times.

Why are we doing this? Here are some facts.

  • 17% growth in demand for STEM jobs. Between 2014 and 2024, the number of STEM jobs will grow 17 percent, as compared with 12 percent for non-STEM jobs. changetheequation.org

  • The average median hourly wage for STEM jobs is $37.44. Compared to the median for all other types of jobs in the US, $18.68, STEM-related jobs pay exceptionally well. changetheequation.org

  • In 2020, there will be an estimated 1.4 million computer specialist job openings. Unfortunately, U.S. universities are expected produce only enough qualified graduates to fill 29% of these jobs. U.S. Department of Labor

  • When choosing a college major, 0.4% of high school girls select computer science. Contrast this to the fact that in middle school, 74% of girls express interest in STEM courses. girlswhocode.org

  • Women earned only 17% of computer and information sciences bachelor’s degrees in 2014. Compare this to 1985, when 37% of computer science bachelors were awarded to women. This is especially concerning because women have made incredible gains in other areas. In 2014, 57% of bachelor’s degree recipients were women. NCWIT

  • 25% of professional computing occupations in the U.S. workforce were held by women in 2015. Compare that to women’s share of the overall workforce, 47%  NCWIT

  • Underrepresented minorities earn only 11% of all engineering degrees. Underrepresented minorities (African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans) make up 35% of the college-age population, but only 11% of engineering degrees. US DEPT. OF ED.

 

We can fix this problem.

Our goal is to launch Team STEM USA in 2019 and be on the track at the start of the 2019 race season. The cars we race and the series we race in will be determined by the funding we are able to raise. Please contact bcb@brianbielanski.com to find out about sponsor opportunities.

Team STEM USA is a fully inclusive organization that vows to provide equal opportunities for every every person who walks through our door.