Seminole County Public Schools still lead Florida in STEM career readiness, according to an index compiled from Fall 2016 course enrollment figures for chemistry, physics, precalculus and calculus. The enrollment figures were supplied by the Florida Department of Education.
Chemistry, physics, precalculus and calculus are the high school courses listed by the American Society for Engineering Education as important in preparing for college majors in engineering. These courses are also important preparation for computer science and many health professions.
The “STEM Career Prep Index” is the sum of course enrollments rates – defined to be the number of course enrollments in a district (in grades 9-12) divided by the number of 12th graders in the district – in these four subjects.
Seminole County once again edged out Brevard County for the highest STEM Career Prep Index. Seminole’s winning edge was its calculus enrollment rate of 27.4, which is about 50% higher than that in Brevard County and more than double the statewide rate. Seminole’s high calculus enrollment rate is likely driven by the district policy of requiring every high school student to take a math course every year. It is common in other districts for students who take Algebra 1 in middle school to stop taking math after 11th grade or even 10th grade, and therefore to pass on the opportunity to take a calculus course in high school.
Brevard led the state in physics enrollment rate, far ahead of second place Seminole County, which in turn was far ahead of the third-place district, rural Franklin County.
The Fall 2016 enrollment numbers used here do not include dual enrollment courses, but do include AP, IB and AICE courses.