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For more than 30 years, Career Communications Group (CCG) has been on a journey with its partners in the scientific and technical enterprise. Throughout, CCG has stuck with its mission: To promote significant achievement and opportunity in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

CCG is a socially conscious media company that recognizes the mandate to inspire excellence by telling the stories of unheralded people striving for success. The people we reach provide technology employers and federal defense contractors a unique opportunity to fulfill their mission of hiring this country’s most promising talent in STEM.

No doubt about it, the United States has progressed. That thousands of men and women are nominated each year for the Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) is a testament to employers taking notice.

However, COVID-19 brought a whole new set of pressures. As millions of Americans were forced to stay home, studies began to reveal where the problems brought on by the pandemic were greatest.

Studies found that K-12 school districts transitioned academic and non-academic activities to remote settings with varying degrees of success.

According to the Collaborative for Student Growth at the NWEA, the public health, educational, and economic damages inflicted by COVID-19 are likely to exacerbate inequities affecting minority students. NWEA researchers found students opt out of testing for financial, health, or technical reasons. The study also found that students not testing in fall 2020 are from disadvantaged backgrounds. Not accounting for these students would produce underestimated learning loss and achievement gaps, the researchers noted—potentially resulting in under-provision of support to the neediest students.

To examine the patterns of missing data in fall 2020, an attrition study was used with data of 5.2 million students who attended any grade between kindergarten and seventh grade in fall 2019.

As we move into the 2020s, we must connect the STEM community’s vast assets to investments that will close the gaps in health care and education and transfer more knowledge and opportunity. We cannot allow the next generation of leaders in STEM to be underachievers.

 

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