Kasen Van Fossen Identifies Major Gaps in STEM Curriculum

Jan 22, 2022 by

2021 Best STEM High Schools in America - US News

Kasen Van Fossen studied biology in Tampa Bay, Florida, to pursue a career in the dental health field. At the same time, dental health may seem like an entirely different field than the careers that master STEM, these skills are crucially important. As generations become more familiar with new technology, Kasen Van Fossen believes STEM skills should be taught in high school.

What Is STEM and Why Is It Important?

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEM can help students succeed in multiple career industries. Kasen Van Fossen notes that STEM careers include safety engineering, microbiology, and even wildlife biology.

STEM provides a variety of skills that can be applied to everyday problem-solving. When taught in high schools, Kasen Van Fossen believes teenagers benefit from learning how to make wise decisions while analyzing complex situations.

The ability to understand an issue from all sides is what helps students think critically. Assessing information is especially important in this day and age when there are so many ways to communicate the news. Learning STEM from an early age will help children succeed in the future.

What Are The Main STEM Skills?

STEM education in high school varies depending on the school system. Teachers have seen many educational outlines with the same skills taught each year. Common STEM classes include a broad overview of science and math.

Math classes typically include curricula already used for 10th or 11th grade. These classes cover algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. Science classes are similar to the courses learned in the non-STEM curriculum.

The American Competitiveness Initiative was designed to help improve America’s standing with certain subjects like math and science. The “ACI” was created in 2005 when the National Academies of Science reported that U.S. technological leadership declined. Since the ACI was implemented, educators have encouraged students to learn more about technology and science.

The Critical Skills That Are Not Taught in STEM

Increasing the nation’s understanding of science, technology, engineering, and math is still an obvious way to compete globally. Unfortunately, not all STEM programs incorporate the same types of education.


Statistics is one specific area that students can benefit from learning in high school. Although higher levels of calculus are important for certain careers, statistics prepares students for all STEM fields. Since statistics can be difficult for some students, multiple levels can improve their awareness and speed.

Statistics allows students to understand probability and error rates. This is helpful when analyzing studies or conducting research. If statistics are correctly applied, it can solve almost any issue in STEM classes.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking comes from thinking outside of the box. To analyze a problem effectively, all angles must be discovered before deciding on the right course of action. STEM classes are not always known for their creativity.

Creativity can be fostered with open-ended questions. This is especially helpful in STEM since there is usually more than one perspective. When students are asked enough of these questions, they will think about these approaches when analyzing their work. Taking the time to pursue different solutions can be rare in the STEM curriculum.


Intellectual curiosity is one aspect of STEM that is closely connected with creativity. By inspiring students to ask questions, students can enjoy what they’re regularly learning. Many careers in the STEM field will continue to advance throughout the years. Fostering a healthy curiosity will keep students learning as their careers, and expectations change.

Rejection Acceptance

Learning how to fail is not a popular high school class. It is, however, necessary to master to generate questions and find innovative solutions. Many high school environments focus heavily on the right answer. Unfortunately, this can be intimidating for students who fall behind in their classes. This approach can have a positive and long-lasting effect on self-esteem and confidence.

Analyzing Data

Data-driven decision-making is critical to the STEM field. Although there may be more than one right answer, basing a solution around feelings is not always helpful. Learning how to navigate and analyze scientific data is a skill that is necessary for every type of career.

Learning To Adapt

Students must be able to be flexible in the age of digital technology. Since so many life factors are connected to this form of information and communication, learning new processes is necessary to grow.

Adapting to unfamiliar situations usually takes time, but the more it’s practiced, the easier it gets. High schools that teach students how to adapt quickly often change how they teach regularly. This can mean new programs are introduced or a change of setting.

Students that learn how to adapt early will have an easier time with change as they get older. Manufacturing jobs that rely on one type of method are growing scarce. If individuals are flexible enough to learn new skills, they are more likely to succeed in the workforce.

Innovative Solutions

STEM can provide life skills in addition to a resume. Kasen Van Fossen focuses on providing both to ensure students have what they need for the future. Since STEM is concerned with the future of society, investing in high school education makes sense for multiple reasons. Understanding climate change, new forms of communication, and economic progress are just a few areas where students can make a difference.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Share This