As we progress further into the digital age, the need for an increase in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) expertise is becoming ever more apparent. We are seeing this manifest itself on a global scale with an increase in STEM jobs coinciding with a distinct shortage of specialist skill, whether that be through loss of high skilled workers or untapped pools of talent.
To help address this issue, many countries have implemented their own plans and grassroots initiatives to not only redress the gender imbalance often associated with STEM subjects but also to make learning science and careers in STEM more attractive to young people. The PISA 2015 report demonstrated parity between girls’ and boys’ science results, although when posed attitudinal questions, in some countries the gender imbalance regarding students’ dispositions to science-related careers still remained.
Fortunately, there are measures and strategies schools can adopt to help identify and nurture their students’ potential. The Al Alfi Foundation in Egypt, for example, has placed a huge emphasis on identifying gifted and talented students in STEM subjects using cognitive ability testing. This, however, is just one example. Throughout our report, experts talk about a range of measures and strategies that schools can adopt to identify these ‘hidden talents’ and ensure their potential isn’t overlooked.