The STEM commandments: Marija Butkovic

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Charley Rogers talks to Women of Wearables' Marija Butkovic about UK STEM provision, and what developments have been, and are yet to be made.

What are the biggest issues in STEM education at present? 

Not getting enough girls to study STEM subjects, and also curricula that are quite old, not aligned with new jobs of today, and are not equipping students with the right skillsets. In general, the UK needs to significantly increase the number of people with engineering skills. In 2014, one report put the annual shortfall of STEM skills at 40,000, and as of 2015, the annual shortfall of the right engineering skills is 55,000. 

What is the biggest difference in STEM teaching now, compared to 10 or 20 years ago? 

I haven’t studied in the UK, but in Croatia I can honestly say that very little has changed in the last 10–20 years. There has been a lot of innovation in the tech world, including use of iPads and different interactive tools, introducing very practical and interactive methods of teaching STEM, like micro:bits in robotics, but this has to become standard and the norm for everyone, regardless of the budgets of the schools and potential sponsors. Croatia is still very much behind Western countries.

Read the whole interview here