U.S. Gets Poor Grades in Nurturing STEM Diversity

 Education Week reports on the state of STEM in US Gets Poor Grades in Nurturing STEM Diversity:

The nation’s K-12 education system gets an average grade of D for the job it does “engaging and nurturing” minorities to pursue careers in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and a D-plus for such performance with girls, based on results released today from a survey of female and minority chemists and chemical engineers.

Those polled also believe science teachers play a larger role than parents and others in inspiring an interest in science, with 70 percent saying teachers have the most influence at the elementary level, and nearly 90 percent saying teachers have the most influence at the high school level.

Meanwhile, another report out today, developed with support from the National Science Foundation, pulls together “a large and diverse body” of existing research providing evidence that social and environmental factors contribute to the “underrepresentation” of women in science and engineering.

More reason than ever for nurturing FIRST Tech Challenge and other FIRST programs – those polled may be underestimating the role of “parents and others”, especially when those “others” are professionals in the community interesting in sharing their expertise and experience. 

Read the complete story at http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/03/22/27stem.h29.html?utm_source=fb&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mrss

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