The Sid W. Richardson Foundation recently donated $170,000 to the College of Education and the College of Science and Engineering to help local elementary and high school teachers generate more interest in math and science. Although this idea will help students to improve their grades and motivate them to learn more about the subjects and help teachers to know what will drive students toward careers in those fields, it’s only a temporary remedy for a nationwide problem.
The source of the lagging interest in these areas is difficult to discern, but a solution is needed right now. The accountability of the public school system and parents should also be considered with regards to how interested students are in their classes.
A grant may help in the short term but cultivating appreciation for both subjects is what is really important.
Realistically, the grant will not solve the problem but rather serve as an example for teachers in other school districts to try new methods to increase student motivation and interest.
The more students are actually engaged by these subjects, the more likely it is that their standardized test scores will improve.
Last month’s release of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study showed some gains in fourth- to eighth-graders’ standardized test scores for math, but the United States still lags behind other industrialized nations like China and India. Improved science and math scores are necessary to better prepare students for a more competitive global economy.
For a nation built on ingenuity, the United States shouldn’t be outpaced in science and technology.
Features editor Chance Welch for the editorial board.