News / USA

US Proposes Increased Spending on Math, Science Educational Programs

According to several educational research studies the United States is falling behind other countries in math and science achievement by middle school and high school students. Now, there's a push by several U.S. federal government agencies - including the U.S. space agency NASA - to create programs that will encourage students to study for careers in science and technology.

These students are taking part in experiments designed to test their knowledge and inspire them to concentrate on science, technology, engineering and math.  Charles Bolden, the head of the U.S. space agency, NASA, and Lisa Jackson from the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, came to this Washington, D.C. middle school to encourage these youngsters to focus on math and science careers.

"If you want to be competitive the more study you have done the better," Bolden said. "The critical part at the end of whatever the level of study you are going to do is to get yourself involved in something that puts you into a laboratory."

In the 2011 U.S. federal budget, both NASA and the EPA propose to spend more than $146 million on programs to increase student and teacher proficiency in science and technology disciplines.

"We really need to reach down into the schools as low as possible," he said. "We want middle school kids and their teachers to increase their level of achievement in science and math and for their teachers to increase their level of performance in teaching those subjects."

Efforts to strengthen math and science education come at a time when 15-year-old U.S.students rank 25th in math literacy and 30th in science literacy - among the 57 countries participating in the Program for International Student Assessment.

Administrator Bolden says other studies indicate the United States is not preparing enough students and teachers to meet the demand in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.  

"The nations that lead everybody in math and science education are Finland and the Scandinavian countries and we [the United States] are well behind. President Obama's efforts and his emphasis on education particularly technical ducation science and math, to want to have every kid in college by 2020, is to be applauded and that's a goal that we at NASA are really going to make sure that he can accomplish," Bolden stated.

NASA is launching a three-year program called "Summer of Innovation." It will target middle school students during their summer recess to take part in intensive math and science learning programs.  Those will include follow-on activities during the school year. Educators say the goal will be to improve student academic performance in math, science and technology courses, while giving them the tools they need to build lasting professional careers in a 21st-century, knowledge-based economy.

You May Like

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs