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Math and Science Education Vital to Our Future by Meta J. Mereday

Math and Science: Education for Life, Careers for the Future

 

 

How often do we take for granted that our daily use of gadgets and appliances is a direct result of someone getting a math and science education? 

Mathematics alone is important as the cornerstone of most scientific theories that have led to great scientific breakthroughs and trendsetting consumer products. 

According to mathandscience-online.com, “The importance of mathematics is twofold. One it is helpful in the advancement of science and technology, and second is that it helps us in understanding the working of the universe. For common people it is important for their personal development, both in the workplace and in mind calculations.”

For those interested in pursuing careers in these fields, getting a math and science education generates career opportunities in the following industries: pharmaceuticals, energy, communications and media, and consumer goods. 

Graduates in math and science can work as engineers, scientists and mathematicians.  The energy industry is quite lucrative with salaries ranging from electrical engineer at $69,000 to supervisory general engineer at $95,000. 

Since engineering is all about creating things and making things better, a focused approach on math and science is the foundation. 

A renewed focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) has even gotten support from the White House with major initiatives geared towards increasing the focus on math and science education at all levels under the flagship “Race To The Top” initiative.

In 2006, the scores from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) reported that 15 year olds from the United State trailed their peers from many industrialized countries in math and science.  The PISA test, which is given every three years, is used to measure the ability of 15 year-olds to apply their math and science education in real-life contexts.

About 400,000 students, including 5,600 in the United States, took part in the 2006 exam.  After the test results were published, there was a substantial outcry regarding the failings of the program model of that period – “No Child Left Behind.” 

Many of the shortcomings in the program were brought to light and the Obama administration redirected efforts to improve standards from the teachers’ perspective and to step up private sector inclusion.

Currently, President Barack Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan have been proactive in incorporating public and private sector resources to improve the fundamentals of math and science education and to make it relevant for student development and career attainment. 

A unique feature of President Obama’s reinforced efforts for math and science education encompasses his call to action that brought together 100 CEO’s to launch “Change the Equation,” which is an advanced program module designed to involve corporate America in the improvement of STEM education.

With the White House as the backdrop for a first ever science fair, the visibility that usually has been afforded these previously underserved subject areas have spurred a new generation interested in math and science education.

So, the next time you use any of your state of the art equipment or chart the course of your day, remember the role that math and science played in your accessibility to modern technology.

Mereday is a contributing writer for Regal Black Men's Magazine, a publication dedicated to the African American community.

This article was published on Thursday 19 May, 2011.
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