Magazine article District Administration

Science and Math's New Importance. (Curriculum Update: The Latest Developments in Math, Science, Language Arts and Social Studies)

Magazine article District Administration

Science and Math's New Importance. (Curriculum Update: The Latest Developments in Math, Science, Language Arts and Social Studies)

Article excerpt

A growth of jobs in high-tech homeland security is one noticeable result of last year's terrorist attacks. But are math and science education preparing students well enough for these jobs?

More than eight in 10 college students say yes. They believe that both they themselves and their generation have had sufficient preparation in math and science education to succeed in high-tech security fields. This is one finding of interest to the K-12 community from a new Gallup survey commissioned by Bayer Corp. as part of its Making Science Make Sense initiative.

"Despite the students' overall optimism, it's clear from a number of voices in the survey that much more work must be done nationally to improve pre-college science and math education so that young people ... are truly prepared for these new [career] opportunities," says former astronaut Mae C. Jemison, who is the current science literacy spokes-person for the Bayer initiative.

Nearly all of the students polled see science literacy as an important weapon in the fight against terrorism. They believe that understanding and dealing with terrorist threats, such as bio-terrorism, nuclear weapons and cyber terrorism, requires average Americans to be science literate. "Science literacy is not about creating the next generation of scientists," Jemison says. "Rather it's about reading a health article in the newspaper and understanding it or preparing nutritionally sound meals for your children. …

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