The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has released its very first report card that measures technology and engineering literacy in schools in the United States. Published in the report named The Nation's Report Card: Technology and Engineering Literacy, the researchers observed how literate teenagers in the eight grade were by supplying "scenario-based tasks" on computers to measure their understanding of the subjects.
The results were:
- 45 percent of girls were above the proficiency level
- 42 percent of boys were above the proficiency level
- 43 percent of students were above the proficiency level
The results show that female students are in prime positions to further pursue studies that could lead to fruitful engineering careers due to the proficiency level being slightly higher than boys. The report observed 21,500 students from 800 public and private schools since 2014.
"This assessment requires students to examine evidence, ask and answer challenging questions and choose the right tools for the problem at hand. This is the exact kind of thinking that the modern world demands at home and in the workplace, no matter the career path," said Chair of the National Assessment Governing Board, Terry Mazany.
63 percent of students said that they gained their engineering and technology literacy from family members, whereas 19 percent of students said to have taught themselves their proficiency.
"The scores clearly show that when students have opportunities to engage with technology and engineering, they become fluent in skills that prepare them for living and working in the modern world. But access to these opportunities from place to place is patchy. That's a call for communities to create opportunities where needed from schools to science centers to after-school programming," said Dr. Tonya Matthews, President, and CEO of the Michigan Science Center.