On inspiring a new generation of American scientists and engineers

Bonnie Dunbar, a retired NASA astronaut, is currently the president and CEO of The Museum of Flight located in Tukwila, Washington.  In her recent article as guest columnist for The Seattle Times, she makes a great point about how the state of Washington must inspire a new generation of American scientists and engineers.  She cites the following statistics:

Washington state ranks nearly last among all states in the amount of science taught in the fourth grade: 20 percent of the teachers teach less than one hour per week. Consider that the United States now ranks 22nd among all nations in science and math scores, and that Washington state — though it ranks fourth among states in the demand for engineers — ranks 33rd in the production of engineers.

Other nations in Asia as well as India are graduating many more engineers than all of Canada and the United States combined. This is not the equation for solving our state or national challenges — or creating a future of prosperity.

And she urges …

Let us set a goal: to make Washington state No. 1 in math and science in the nation within 10 years, and that these scores exceed even those of the highest-rated nations internationally.

The spirit of this article aligns very closely to the mission and vision of Cascades Science Center Foundation.  We want to strive to establish hands-on interactive scientific environments for kids to explore their curiousity and be passionate about Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).  We welcome community feedback on how this foundation can make a difference in supporting the goal of inspiring our youth to engage in the field of science.

Read the full article here.

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