Quality STEM Education Takes on New Importance

January 11, 2010

Quality STEM education takes on new importance

Laura J. Fuller, a guest columnist along with many experts believe that the Information Age is coming to an end and the next phase of economic dominance will be by industries in the areas of biology and biotechnology.

She stated that President Obama recently recognized this shift in his six priorities for the Race to the Top initiative focusing on improving K-12 schools. The second priority gives competitive preference specifically to science, technology, engineering, and mathematic (STEM).

He said schools should “offer a rigorous course of study in mathematics, the sciences, technology and engineering,” and cooperate with industry experts to help teachers incorporate STEM content across grades and disciplines.” He also said that schools should try to prepare students for careers in the sciences.

Laura believes as educators, we have an even greater responsibility to prepare our students- specifically our female students– for their lives in this same world.

She stated that women were beginning to make inroads into the various science fields when she was in college, but she usually wound up being the only woman or one of a small minority among her science department. She felt that she wasn’t encouraged to further pursue studies or research compare to the men who were being supported in these areas.

Laura believes that as educators, we need to know that advanced math and science education is no longer only for the superintelligent, motivated students. A working knowledge of both is necessary for all of America’s children. 

It’s also parents’ responsibility to weave science into everyday experiences. They must educate themselves as their children progress through school in order to have these important conversations with them. 

We all must work together to meet the challenges of the future and to prepare our children to excel in this environment.