A focus in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) began officially with the launch of Sputnik 1 October 4, 1957. This launched the beginning of NASA and government-mandated funding for students interested in STEM careers. From this point forward, a series of dominos fell on funding, scholarships, foundations and more to stimulate U.S. growth and expansion of science. This had a dramatic affect on generating increased interest in STEM until 1992.
In 1992, top performing high school students decline in STEM career interest. By 2009, American rankings in math and science began to quickly slip. In response, the U.S. government has launched more initiatives, funding and foundations to spark new found interest in the STEM careers that will be in high demand in the coming decade.