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The elementary student = The 2030 workforce pipeline

Published February 1, 2019

The year 2030 will be here before we know it. Students in first grade right now will be graduating. Technology will have advanced at a pace like we have never seen before. Students have to be prepared for a world much different from the one that exists today. And schools play a critical role in talent identification, workforce development, and community impact.

Groups like the World Economic Forum and the OECD Education 2030 project have made some staggering predictions that, when we really stop and think, might not be all that astounding after all, considering how rapidly technology has changed our world in just the past 10 years.

The World Economic Forum predicts the top five technologies to impact daily life by the year 2030 will be:

  • Virtual reality
  • Gene editing
  • Biofacturing
  • Advertising (to pay for all of the change)
  • Implantables

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates skill shifts due to automation and artificial intelligence. The need for physical and manual skills as well as basic cognitive skills decline while social and emotional skills and technological skills increase. Higher cognitive skills remain steady.

The Future of Education and Skills: Education 2030, a report released by OECD, highlights three transformative competencies that will be necessary for students to be innovative, responsible, and aware. These competencies are interrelated and learnable and, when paired with STEM education, can create students prepared for a fast-paced, ever-changing world.

Preparing students for this future requires interdisciplinary instruction, collaborative environment, soft skills lessons and practice, and more. All these are integral to STEM education and incorporated in Pitsco’s STREAM Missions and Expeditions programs. #ThisIsSTEM


In the elementary years, students want and need to be active in their learning. They are social and need opportunities to practice channeling their social nature into productive and positive communication. In the STREAM Missions program, students learn how to work in groups, solve interpersonal and scientific problems, and communicate effectively with peers and adults through the use of student roles. Reading practice, art, math, and social and emotional learning are woven in to core science instruction in every Mission providing teachers a complete program that provides limitless opportunity for the transformative competencies mentioned before.

Browse Missions titles: Pitsco.com/Our-Programs/Grades-3-5/Titles


In the middle school years, students are exploring their passions and trying to identify what path they should take for their future. They excel with opportunities to explore potential careers and gain transferable skills such as communication, collaboration, decision-making, and creativity. Expeditions not only provide valuable STEM and career content but also opportunity to learn and practice the soft skills that will prove instrumental to them as they progress toward the year 2030. The Expeditions program is the only middle-level curriculum aligned to ACT® WorkKeys®. For ACT Work Ready Communities, the goal is to drive economic growth by improving the skills and work readiness of the workforce and provide businesses a reliable way to identify skills of potential employees. Why not start this work at the middle level to provide more time to practice skills and gain necessary knowledge?

Browse Expeditions titles: Pitsco.com/Our-Programs/Grades-6-9/Titles

“I answered a science question on a test [because of what I learned in the Expedition]. One of my friends has glasses. One of the lenses is thicker than the other. It is a convex lens, which makes it more powerful. I answered a question about that and got it right. It applies to everyday life, and I like that.”

– Emma, student, Pittsburg Community Middle School, Pittsburg, Kansas

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