311 E. Congress St.
If there’s one thing American educators, politicians, and business executives all can agree on, it’s that the STEM fields–science, technology, engineering, and math–are key to the nation’s continuing success. President Obama has raised hundreds of millions of dollars to improve the state of STEM education in America, and has pledged that the country will prepare over 100,000 STEM teachers in the coming years. The World Economic Forum currently ranks the U.S. 52nd in the world in the quality of its math and science education. And only 16 percent of American high school seniors are proficient in math and interested in pursuing a career in STEM. What are we as a country doing wrong–and what are other countries doing right–when it comes to STEM? Many top STEM nations are in East Asia, where success in math and science is seen as the result of hard work, not talent. And in China, Russia, and some European countries, math education is compulsory through high school. ASU science education scholar Dale Baker, Tucson Unified School District science program coordinator Joan Gilbert, and Change the Equation CEO Linda Rosen visit Zócalo to discuss the policy, classroom, and perhaps even cultural changes we need to make for American STEM education to catch up to world leaders.