Happening Today: Education Week Leadership Symposium. Learn more and register.
Opinion
College & Workforce Readiness Letter to the Editor

Schools Must Ignite and Inspire Students for STEM Engagement

November 03, 2014 1 min read

To the Editor:

The United States has long been a global leader in innovation and entrepreneurship, but we are not on track to maintain this historical pre-eminence. The reason is our country’s workforce-skills gap.

The 2012 test results from the Program for International Student Assessment ranked American students 23rd in science achievement and 30th in math ability out of 65 countries. The countries that consistently perform at the top include China, Singapore, South Korea, and Japan.

Despite these rankings, a delegation of science and technology leaders from South Korea recently traveled to Los Angeles to see firsthand what American students are doing in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.

Project Lead The Way—an organization dedicated to stem training in schools, for which I work—hosted the group. We took them to see Da Vinci Science High School in Hawthorne, Calif., a charter school certified by Project Lead The Way, where they visited with students and teachers in several of the engineering courses.

The Korean visitors said they were highly impressed with the students’ immersion in their learning. Students were engaged, they were collaborating, and they were learning the content through hands-on activities and projects. At the end of the delegation’s visit, they were so inspired that they requested to attend Project Lead The Way’s teacher-training program next summer.

In our nation’s elementary, middle, and high schools, we aren’t effectively engaging, inspiring, or preparing all students for the global workforce in which they must compete for good jobs and opportunities. We need to ignite and inspire students’ creativity, innovation, and problem-solving skills in the classroom. We can show them why subjects like math and science matter, and we can regain the excellence we’ve long experienced as a nation.

But we have to start in each classroom. And we have to start now.

Vince Bertram

President and Chief Executive Officer

Project Lead The Way

Indianapolis, Ind.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the November 05, 2014 edition of Education Week as Schools Must Ignite and Inspire Students for STEM Engagement

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Law & Courts Webinar
The Future of Criminal Justice Reform: A Sphere Education Initiative Conversation
America’s criminal justice system is in crisis and calls for reform are dominating the national debate. Join Cato’s Sphere Education Initiative and Education Week for a webinar on criminal justice and policing featuring the nation’s
Content provided by Cato Institute
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Equity, Care and Connection: New SEL Tools and Practices to Support Students and Adults
As school districts plan to welcome students back into buildings for the upcoming school year, this is the perfect time to take a hard look at both our practices and our systems to build a
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Here to Stay – Pandemic Lessons for EdTech in Future Development
What technology is needed in a post pandemic district? Learn how changes in education will impact development of new technologies.
Content provided by AWS

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

College & Workforce Readiness Opinion There’s Insurance for Homes or Cars—Why Not College Degrees?
Rick Hess talks with Wade Eyerly, the CEO of Degree Insurance, about the company's plan to make investing in a college degree less risky.
7 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness Fewer Students in Class of 2020 Went Straight to College
First-year college enrollment dropped steeply last year, a study finds, and the declines were sharpest among poorer students.
6 min read
Image shows University Application Acceptance Notification Letter with ACCEPTED Stamp
YinYang/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness Letter to the Editor Are Students Ready for Post-Pandemic Reality?
Schools must make improving students' essential skills a priority for college and career success, says the CEO and president of CAE.
1 min read
College & Workforce Readiness This Is Not a Good Time to Fall Off the College Track. Students Are Doing It Anyway
Fewer students in the Class of 2021 are applying for college financial aid, continuing a drop that started last year.
6 min read
Applications for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form are on the decline.
Applications for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form are on the decline.
Jon Elswick/AP