Academic journal article The Science Teacher

The Case for Stem Education: Challenges and Opportunities

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

The Case for Stem Education: Challenges and Opportunities

Article excerpt

By Rodger W. Bybee. $28. 116 pp. NSTA Press. Arlington, VA. 2013. ISBN: 9781936959259.

Does anyone disagree that education in the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and math) is necessary for students to develop 21st-century skills? In this refreshing new book from NSTA Press, Rodger W. Bybee outlines ways in which the U.S. STEM yearly budget of $3.4 billion--less than 1% of total annual federal spending on education--should be strategically used to serve our children. The fundamental imperatives of STEM involve local and national discussions about effective 21st-century curriculum with the goal of sustainable changes in classroom and infrastructure.

The value of STEM education lies in aspiring for something greater. By-bee repeatedly references the Sputnik era and the space race to model how a motivating force effects change. During the decade between Sputnik and landing on the Moon, the goal was clear: to invest in education and development to land people on the Moon within 10 years. With the current stem initiative, students, teachers, and stakeholders need to aspire to a common STEM framework with concrete goals. The author proposes specific avenues of development in health, energy, environment, and the use of natural resources with improvements in a 20-year window. …

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