To the Editor:
As a high school student, I eagerly read the article “The Biden Administration’s New STEM Initiative: What Will It Mean for K-12 Schools?” (Dec. 12, 2022). I applaud the government’s worthy goal of improving science, technology, engineering, and math equity and access across the country, as well as closing the funding gap.
However, the government has failed to acknowledge the role youth can play in addressing the STEM achievement gap in our country. As of fall 2021, there are over 15 million students enrolled in our public high schools. Our government should create programs to recognize this reservoir of talent by systematically supporting youth organizations like the one I founded called Kids Are Scientists Too (KAST-WJ). My group conducts science experiments at local elementary schools and serves as a way to inspire young kids to be interested in STEM from an early age.
Initiatives such as this one exist all over the country and would benefit from government support to increase STEM participation across diverse demographic groups.
High School Senior
Walter Johnson High School
A version of this article appeared in the February 01, 2023 edition of Education Week as Let’s Mobilize Our Youth to Address the STEM Achievement Gap