Caroline C.

STEM Education for All

The current presidential Administration has put a heavy emphasis on STEM education. It is believed that STEM education is essential for our country's economic and technological growth. President Obama's Administration has received and secured more than one billion dollars in private investment and three billion dollars allocated to fourteen Federal agencies for the improving of STEM education. Will this funding and emphasis on STEM continue to the next Administration?

Dear President,

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Education is very important to me. My school's robotics team helped me discover my love for mechanical engineering, and without the community and governmental push to increase STEM education, I would never have discovered what I want to do for the rest of my life. As a senior, there is a lot of pressure on your future major and where you will go to college.  I am one of the lucky ones who know what they want to major in, but a lot of students go into college undecided or they switch from major to major. There is a need for STEM in elementary to high school education. As of right now, the White House projects, "that by, 2018 there could be 2.4 million unfilled STEM jobs." I believe that an emphasis on STEM education should be continued and multiplied by the next presidential Administration.

STEM is a field where docile lectures with no hands on experience obstruct a student's learning ability, and for this reason, the current Administration is putting an emphasis on active learning. Students use active learning strategies to problem solve and engage in alternative thinking methods. Students get more out of building a sling shot and learning the different forces in effect than by listening to a two-hour long lecture. I know as a student I would rather learn from trial and error than sitting at a desk for my fifty minute class period.  

High school students need to be introduced to STEM before they reach college, because once you enter college, your room to change your major or lean towards STEM fields decreases. The Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights' found in a recent survey, "that 50 percent of U.S. high schools do not offer calculus and 27 percent do not offer physics," this is an injustice to not only the future of the United States but more importantly to the future of the students attending the schools without these subjects. Without calculus and physics, many people do not get introduced to certain aspects of STEM. Above all, the United States should not stand for this lack of education. 

Diversity is ubiquitous in the United States, but diversity in STEM is not where it should be. For instance, one White House statistic says that the "Stem employment gap is further compounded by persistent diversity challenges, as women and minorities, who comprise 70 percent of college students but less than 45 percent of STEM degrees, represent a largely untapped talent pool." So despite everyone's talk of equality, women and minorities are denied their equal right due to bias based on gender and race. I'm a female wanting to go into mechanical engineering, but when I tell people what I am going into they say, "Well isn't that going to be hard for you?" But if a man were to say they were going into mechanical engineering the same people would pat him on the back and say, "Congratulations!" It is my dream to rid the world of the stereotype that women can not be engineers and to join the 7.9% of female mechanical engineers, according to the National Science Foundation.  I hope that others will realize what they are truly capable of achieving in the STEM field, but this can only be achieved with continued funding and emphasis on STEM education.

A future female mechanical engineer