Stanwood High’s STEM program landed in the top 5,000 in the country, according to a new ranking by Newsweek and STEM.org.

“With STEM education, our students are exposed to real-life situations where they enhance their problem-solving skills, learn innovative methods, and have the opportunity to experiment and collaborate with one another,” Stanwood High Principal Christine Del Pozo said.

STEM — science, technology, engineering, and mathematics — programs have received extra nationwide attention recently because of the high demand for work in those fields. STEM-related jobs grew at three times the rate of non-STEM jobs between 2000 and 2010, and in 2018 there were an estimated 2.4 million STEM jobs that went unfilled, according to the Smithsonian Science Education Center.

The top 5,000 schools were curated from STEM.org Educational Research using a broad set of quantitative and qualitative data from 2015 to 2019. Newsweek and STEM.org announced the rankings Nov. 8 — National STEM Day. Stanwood High ranks No. 4,734.

The purpose of the ranking is to determine which primary/secondary institutions in America best offer students experiences in STEM — as defined by the Congressional Research Service — while preparing them for postsecondary outcomes, Newsweek said. Additional factors, including affluence and median household income, were taken into consideration in compiling the rankings.

“Children don’t realize it, but they’re natural STEM students,” said Nancy Cooper, Newsweek Global Editor in Chief. “We need to make sure that innate drive, curiosity, and creativity aren’t lost along the way. These high schools are helping to ensure America’s future in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics is in good hands.”

The rankings appear in Newsweek’s Nov. 15 special double issue.

Contact reporter Evan Caldwell at ecaldwell@scnews.com and follow him on Twitter @Evan_SCN for updates throughout the week and on Instagram @evancaldwell.scn for more photos.

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