STEM program beacon of hope for marginalized students


Graphic by Evelyn Shue

The STEMM program provides minorities with new opportunities in the ever-growing STEM field.

Balmore Ruiz Guardado, Opinions Writer

The Biden-Harris Administration has planned on expanding the opportunities and support of STEM, or the new updated version of STEMM, to all students. These fields include Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine. This project aligns with the United States’ desire to increase its innovative global competitiveness in these fields. There is no doubt that without learning, a country can not sustain itself. Due to this, it is important for the development of equity to be implemented into education as the United States is propped up by the hands of diverse people.

The initiative intends to support students of all backgrounds in participating in the specified fields. In doing so they plan on removing any systemic bias and discrimination that may exist and ensure sufficient funding for groups that have historically been excluded from certain resources. Along with promoting diversity in STEMM education, the administration also desires to tackle the STEMM teacher shortages problem. This is important because not only will it expand the technological innovations of STEMM, but in the process, it allows for equity and opportunities in shaping our progressive world. 

While these are undoubtedly extraordinary steps in advancing American innovation, many are concerned about how long it will take for the stated benefits to be felt. Understandably, many have highlighted that no immediate change will take place and that this will be a slow process. “I am not sure we will see an effect, positive or negative, initially. There is going to be room for error, but…give it a number of years to be perfected, I think yes,” math teacher Heidi Neto said. 

The intent to give students the ability to succeed in their academic careers will create a positive impact on students. This initiative will aid the ambitious goals of RM students to pursue careers that are crucial in constructing our future societies. That said, the education system is facing various difficulties that will undermine the success of this program. Despite proposed solutions, such as increasing salaries, the teacher shortage remains a dire problem. 

“I think the teacher shortage can definitely hurt it because, not only is there a lack of teachers, but there is a lack of people that are qualified to teach these subjects,” senior Arun Crispino said.  

After much importance and focus being implemented into the STEMM education system, the question of whether such attention should be given to other academic fields is brought forward. Although it is wonderful that actions are being taken to improve the STEMM system and enhance the quality of our education, this same attention should also be given to other educational fields outside of STEMM, as they are equally important. Crispino said “…there are definitely some important fields that we are missing a lot of people in…more emphasis on these will help increase the amount of education that we can add to other areas.” Crispino said. While STEMM has incredibly popular career paths, the reality is that not all students can benefit from the opportunities provided in the program, because not all students are passionate about these fields. 

Nevertheless, with an increase in educated students and students with academic resources, there would surely be an increase in American scientific discoveries and innovation. The steps Biden and his administration are taking to ensure that all students from all backgrounds can have the privilege to exercise their intelligence skills are one of the definitions of what this country is placed on. The U.S. cannot assert its position of global power without expanding access to educational programs that will create the country’s next leaders in science, technology, engineering, math, and medicine.