America Is Failing Science


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A Back-to-School Night presentation encouraging parents to support and foster science literacy in their children. Discusses the current trends for science literacy among Americans, examines the disadvantages and advantages of a population literate in science. (2006)

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  • America Is Failing Science

    1. 1. WELCOME Biology I Room 105
    2. 2. America Is Failing Science The Case for Improving Science Literacy
    3. 3. <ul><li>NCLB will require states to administer standardized tests in science for three grades beginning in SY 2007-8. </li></ul>Standardized Science Tests Arrive
    4. 4. We must get and keep young students engaged in science curriculum!
    5. 5. WHY? WHY? WHY?
    6. 6. America’s Quiet Crisis <ul><li>1. Steady decrease in investment in research and development </li></ul><ul><li>2. Corporate focus upon short-term products in hopes of yielding quick profits </li></ul><ul><li>Are We Losing Our Edge? in Time </li></ul>
    7. 7. America’s Quiet Crisis <ul><li>3. The quality of education in math and science has plummeted, leading to a drop in the number of students majoring in technical fields in college (and ultimately graduate school). </li></ul><ul><li>Are We Losing Our Edge? in Time </li></ul>
    8. 8. Americans Are Distracted <ul><li>“ In China today, Bill Gates is Britney Spears. In America today, Britney Spears is Britney Spears - and that is our problem.” </li></ul><ul><li>Thomas Friedman, author </li></ul><ul><li>The World is Flat </li></ul>
    9. 10. It’s a Global Playing Field <ul><li>“ The ambitious everywhere can compete across borders against one another.” </li></ul><ul><li>Thomas Friedman, author </li></ul><ul><li>The World is Flat </li></ul>
    10. 11. <ul><li>“ … other places, like England, Hong Kong and new Zealand, are improving faster, and some, like Singapore and Japan, are miles ahead. ” </li></ul>
    11. 12. <ul><li>“ Even eight graders in much poorer countries like Estonia and Hungary outperformed their U.S. peers, who came in ninth of 44 nations on the science portion of the test.” </li></ul>
    12. 15. <ul><li>“ Perhaps even more important than the struggle of U.S. students to keep pace with their international peers is their failure to keep up in enthusiasm for the subject.” </li></ul>
    13. 16. Common Student Attitudes towards Science <ul><li>“ I associated engineering with long, boring assignments. No one showed me why it was cool.” </li></ul><ul><li>Ian Ybarra, MIT alum and writer </li></ul>
    14. 17. <ul><li>“ U.S. elementary school kids spend an average of just 16 minutes a day on science, and that’s dwindling to zero in many schools.” </li></ul>Elementary Science Foundation is Weak
    15. 18. A Mile Wide but an Inch Deep <ul><li>“…[facing] daunting curricular goals- U.S. science texts usually cover many more topics than international ones do.” </li></ul>Looking for a Lab-coat Idol in Time (2/13/2006) By Rebecca Winters Keegan with Amanda Bower
    16. 19. Science Excellence Helps Everyone <ul><li>The accomplishments of scientists of the 20th century are heroic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They won the wars </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They got us to the moon </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They protected us from polio and dozens of other illnesses </li></ul></ul>
    17. 20. Science Excellence Helps Everyone <ul><li>The accomplishments of scientists of the 20th century are heroic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>most importantly, the result has been a standard of living far higher than that of any other country </li></ul></ul>
    18. 21. Lack of Science Excellence Hurts Everyone <ul><li>“ If the U.S. doesn’t get its act together, DuPont is going to go to the countries that do, and so are IBM and Intel. ” </li></ul><ul><li>- Chad Holliday, CEO DuPont </li></ul>
    19. 25. Science and engineering are growing job sectors. This trend will continue into the future.
    20. 27. By encouraging Higher order thinking knowledge comprehension application analysis synthesis evaluation
    21. 28. Science Education Helps Students Excel in Any Career Field <ul><li>“ [Consulting firms] love the fact that science majors can think analytically, that we’re comfortable with numbers. ” </li></ul><ul><li>Melisa Gao, BS Chemistry </li></ul><ul><li>Princeton University </li></ul><ul><li>pursued entry-level positions in </li></ul><ul><li>consulting and investment banking </li></ul>