Assignment 3: STEM education and jobs

This assignment is only open to those who participated in Assignment 1.

Listen to the Science Friday podcast on STEM education. During President Obama’s inauguration speech, he indicated that there was a need to increase scientific productivity in our country. The podcast deals with Science Technology Engineering and Math educaton. The panel debates the issues of quality, quantity, diversity, immigration, inspiration, opportunity and security within the STEM fields. As many foreign students come to obtain higher education in these fields, many also return to their country of origin for better financial outlooks. As an undergraduate, I was told that the era of Sputnik scientists was approaching retirement. At the same time, the economy was robust, so many of my peers left STEM education to pursue more lucrative fields associated with economics and business. This seemed like a good idea until the economy soured across the last decade. The podcast indicates that STEM education can also supply individuals with the proper skill sets to enter these fields.

Please address how you feel about the need for STEM education and people going into these fields.

  • Try to focus on the economics and the creation of jobs based on technology fields. Indicate specific arguments from the panel that you agree with.
  • JFK created a goal of reaching the Moon by the end of a decade. This was actually achieved and generated a flood of innovation. Do you feel that some far reaching goal is needed to inspire us to invest in these fields?
  • A science teacher on the panel indicates how people change their outlooks and way of acquiring information. We all begin as scientists. As we develop, we learn to associate various phenomena around us in a deductive manner. Eventually, our culture allows us to learn inductively. Address how the economics behind education is or isn’t incentivized in the appropriate way to bring about enhanced education.

Assignment due May 12.
Reply as a comment below.

11 thoughts on “Assignment 3: STEM education and jobs

  1. Christopher Ramsaroop
    Professor. Seto
    Bio 7900

    – There were some Arguments from the panel that I agree with. As stated in the Panel that there are some people who have many problems but above all it is Inspiration and Opportunity Problems. I agree that there should be some Scientists and Engineers that should make young adults want to have that kind of job when they grow up. What was also stated was that they should look at challenges that the nation would face, the opportunity spaces and what they need to do to be competitive having well educated workforce. Not just professional scientists and engineers but kids who actually have skills of many qualities. That’s what people need to make the jobs for the Future. I agree completely with this. As long as they have people who know what they’re doing and that they’re interested in it, it would make more people who want to become it be inspired and want to follow on their footsteps. What irritates me is that the people who are hired to become one has to be an American. They cannot be a Foreigner because there’s a security issue. If Engineers were decreasing, they should allow the Foreigners to fill in the slots. 70% of PHD graduates are Foreign born. Only 30% are American so it’s hard to hire anyone if more of them are Foreigners. They should give the Foreigners a chance.

    – JFK’s Goal of reaching the moon; even if it was achieved and also generated a flood of innovation, it doesn’t have to be a far reaching goal to actually inspire us to invest in the fields. I feel that what the people are doing now in teaching young adults and kids through Science and Engineering Festivals and showing interesting examples from Videotapes are what really inspires them. Going to the moon is one thing, but I feel that perhaps simple ideas/goals can make a great change in inspiring people on what they want to do in the future. Teaching young children the programs as well can also make them invest in the field. Or perhaps turning science and engineering into a game on the computer can also entertain the children while they learn what it is needed to become one can also inspire us to invest in the field as well. It just has to be interesting and we’ll be a part of it.

    – Usually kids these days have a Shorter Attention Span as the Science Teacher stated, the only way to keep them interested was to bring science to the classroom , to reach for the community and professional organizations, and bring in speakers. Also how she showed a videotape of her in zero gravity floating around to the students to make it real would excite them and if they were to see how interesting it was for their teacher, then it would inspire them to go into that field. They started Programs all over the USA, where there’s Family Science Projects (Parents and Child) to make it hands on and make it Interesting as it can be and there always was food present since the kids were usually hungry. There’s a USA Science and Engineers Festival to show Children how the fields are involved in meeting the great challenges of their times. They feel kids want to change the world for the better. Also the adults were going to introduce all kinds of IT based approaches to personalize learning to use computers capable of improve learning for the children and decrease its cost. I agree that the economics behind education is incentivized in the appropriate way to bring about enhanced education. I think it’s a great motivator for children to learn more about the fields and to bring about enhanced education. If the Scientists and Engineers make it boring for them, they wouldn’t become inspired and they just won’t pay attention to it.

  2. There are many arguments from the panel that I do agree with. As was mentioned, there are people who are at a disadvantage but the main problem resides with one ambitions and also the ability the gain opportunities. I agree that the Scientists and Engineers of today should inspire young adults to pursue jobs in similar fields as them. The challenges of this nation have gone global so this means that there are limited opportunities as everyone now seeks to get the upper hand one someone else. But as we know nothing comes free and thus young and old alike have to work very hard to achieve success in this economy. This can only be achieved by having a well-educated work force. This is the only way in which we as a people can progress. As long as there are people who are interested in their areas of study most often they will lure others in who may be or become interested as well. Through this form of guidance more skilled and productive workers can be created. The problem is that although the media and others say that they are not racist, the white man most often gets the job over the black/minority. A next issue is that foreigners are also given less priority. Many areas of study such as engineering, has seen a decrease in well qualified people over the years and I believe that if someone whether foreign or not is determined to excel in that area then they should be given the chance to.
    JFK’s goal of reaching the moon did achieve an influx in the innovation it generated but I do not think that this is what inspired people to go into such fields. I believe that the path that teachers in the science and engineering fields take is that of a visual process rather than a physical. If time is taken out to demonstrate how things are done then I believe that a more inspired and innovative generation will come forth. Sometimes aspiring to invent the next best thing maybe very hard but by having simple goals or ideas one can become inspired to achieve greatness. I believe that sometimes subjects in the fields of science and engineering needs to be simplified in order to allow people not to become discouraged the topics which surround the individual fields.
    Many kids these days have very short attention spans often due to the nature of the STEM fields. According to the science teacher, “the only way to keep them interested was to bring science to the classroom, or to out to the community and professional organizations to bring in speakers. ” Meanwhile programs all over the USA, have started and encourage family’s science projects whereby the parent and the child can sit down and actively engage in a hands on project which results in the child learning and also gaining and interest in the specific field of study. I agree that the economics behind education is incentivized in the appropriate way to bring about enhanced education. I think its a great motivator for children to learn more about the fields. If the Scientists and Engineers make it boring for them, they wouldn’t become inspired and they just won’t pay attention to it.

  3. Violetta Shebshayevich

    Biology 1101-7900

    Prof. Seto

    Technological change leads to economic growth. I think that new technologies destroy certain jobs for people who are low skilled. On the other hand, new technology creates new jobs for people who are more educated. This process can lead to job creation or lay offs. Engineers and scientists can be on high demand. I think that our government should make new economic policies because of the growth of new technology. New technology will create wealth anyway, and instead of unemployment going up again, more training should be provided. More opportunities should be open for engineers and scientists with the growth of technology. I think that technical change should create more jobs. Human beings are not machines and they always have to be in charge of new technology and computers. Human beings can maintain and expand their knowledge base for government researches. Technology and education come together. Training policies will be important for improving employment performance. Vocational and technical training can be done to tech workers about new technologies. In my opinion, the government should step in and do all possible, so that there will not be lay off s because of growing technology. Unemployment can lead to social distress. If unemployment will be too high again, no one will need these new technologies.
    I think that when in 1961, President John Kennedy began U.S. space program and committed a goal of landing man on the moon, it was not just President’s Kennedy dream. It was a dream of the whole nation. In 1957, the Soviet Union launched the satellite Sputnik. It was also the whole nations dream in a certain way. The whole world was listening to the news about it in 1957. Many people think that United States did not want to fall behind the Soviets, I strongly disagree with it. I do not believe that it was done for competition purposes only. The whole nation, in general, was happy for Sputnik. In 1957 the whole nation was happy and excited when Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man to orbit the Earth. Maybe President Kennedy thought that United States is falling behind, but even so, the project was worth it to send Alan Sheppard and Gus Grissom to travel into space. The Apollo 11 was another achievement by astronauts. Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin Aldrin realized President Kennedy’s dream. I was born after these great achievements in space. As a new generation, I do not look at this, who was first and who was second in space. I think that the subject is so interesting, and definitely more investments in this field should be done. There are still so many questions that scientists do not have answers for about the Universe, Big Bang, planets, and satellites.
    I think that science education should be interesting for children, otherwise they will lose their interest and it might never catch their interest again. Science is not about planets. It is about physics, biology, chemistry, oceanography. Books for children should be more interesting. Teachers should encourage them and make the subject interesting at schools. Science books should be more introduced to kids as early as Kindergarten. Children memory is much better than adult’s memory. It is easier for children to remember terminology than for adults. Science books should be colorful for them and contain lots of questions at the end of each chapter. Science book for children should have extra spark of inspiration that will challenge the reader. Good science books should do more than just inform about facts. Children should understand how beautiful the physical existence is. Children can discover world around them though good science books.

  4. Yesin Kowshik
    Professor Dr. Seto
    Bio 7900
    April 29, 2012

    Love this question!

    -As an education advocate I believe in all types of education especially this aforementioned STEM education. It is my believe, in addition to the doctors whom were included in this broadcast, that the United States needs to take the lead in these fields. Our country is in an unemployment crisis, these STEM programs are job creators. The problem becomes do we allow immigrants to come and fill in those positions, or do we conduct these programs here in the United States? I believe that the latter is the most adequate. Though economics is an issue here because it is more expensive to train students in the United States, I do believe that if you allow individuals outside the US to get this training, it would be used for outside organizations and countries. The United States will not see the advancements in such education. As per a speaker from the panel stated, “everyone should have the chance to go into science” here in the United States, I agree with this. The problem that I honestly believe the Untied States faces in this educational crisis is the lack of hands on training in both math and science related fields. Personally, I hate memorizing facts and vocabulary words. I like to be curious enough, and this is another thing that the system fails to provide. It does not ask the proper questions need to spark creativity and imagination and curiosity that is required for one to sit down and ask and answer a scientific question.

    -Inspiration in any field is necessary for investors to invest. One will not invest in a particular stock if one is not brought into doing so with facts and figures. It is my belief that those presently in congress, do not believe that we have the current capacity to be this innovative because the lack the education requirement in science and mathematics. Until we find a far reaching goal, as per the questions mentioned, it is my belief that we would not attract the proper attention required to pass laws in favor of education such as STEM education. The scientific community needs to step up, come together, and do something BIG that would attract the attention of the proper authority.

    -This question addresses what my upcoming book is about, PROPER EDUCATION REFORM, IT STARTS WITH THE ACTUAL SYSTEM. I believe that our system is rigged. It tests students on their memory, something which is important; however it does not allow students to be free and to learn what sparks their own interest. It is limits their imagination, creativity, and ability to think outside the box. I think that we need to change the way grade school works. It should not test students on their ability to memorize; one may call this a discriminating method. Some students are better at memorizing and recalling such information when necessary. I fall into this category myself. After the first exam of not being able to recall adequate information, I get discouraged, as many other students get, thus, doing poorly on the remainder of the course. I believe that the education system should allow students to perform their own experiments, to find answers to their own questions, and to spark interest and creativity in their own minds by DOING, not MEMORIZING (with proper supervision of course). Our education system forces students to stay home and READ about material which they should be out and about, learning on their own. As a side note, I believe this is another reason that obesity is so prevalent in our society. Until these problems are addressed, America will remain a FOLLOWER, not a LEADER as it once was.

  5. Claudia Franco
    Professor Dr. Seto
    Bio 7900
    May 07, 2012

    I believe that the STEM education is a great opportunity for people. However, facing the reality of how technology have changed peoples lives; there is where everything make a change. Technology give us new views to the future, but at the same time are making people to lose their jobs. New machines are doing in a fastest way and at least time what people used to do. Our world is changing, nothing is used to be as before new machines, new technology; less workers in a company. For one side technology is making our lives to see different from before. Furthermore, if we think about those people who killed themselves studying and paying a lot of money in order to get a degree, and then they are replace for new machines. That is where new generations start to look at it and think about how the new technology are making the big changes in their lives. There is going to be a point where there is not going to be more people working in companies, what you are going to see are machines replacing people jobs.

    The John F. Kennedy’s goal about reaching the moon was a new innovation which makes people see the world in a different perspective. After four years had pass, about the great impact that the Soviet Union created with the Sputnik,
    president John F. Kennedy announced that a new project called “Project Apollo” where going to be a reality in 1969. People started to speculated and have more attention about what was going on with this project, which it was an big impact to new technology. JFK’s primary goal and dream became true, on July 20,1969; which it changes worlds expectations and make us see a new world. For one side, the technology field has made a lot of innovations and changes all over the world.

    In our days, children pay more attention to things that make them search for things and look at for things. They don’t like to memorize, they love to see new things, things that catch out their attention. In addition, as how one the professor of the eight grade announced in the interview; she said that students put more attention to the video in which she was interacting, besides as she was teaching something else. Students like to see things, ask for things that take their attention; they don’t like to be ask for things that they do not feel comfortable with. In my opinion the STEM program, is a great program which open people eyes to different perspectives. Children in early ages learn, and catch out things much faster than an adult. If professor changes the way that they teach instead of making students memorize things, they should interact with the student and make them see that things are not as difficult as they see them. Interacting with the students and make things easy for them; would provide a better standard of education in the United States; instead of making students memorize things; professor should help them to see things easier and fun for them. In this way, student would have the capacity to interact with other students and learn the material in a better way.

  6. Saad Rashid
    Professor Dr. Seto
    May 10, 2012

    We can not blame technology for anything. technology has changed our lives. We can contact and communicate faster with our family and friends abroad, we can get answer to our questions in just a second through the use of computer. Technology makes our life much easier and faster. i totally agree with the fact that technology takes away peoples jobs but don’t forget the fact that technology is man made. if it takes away jobs it will also create many new jobs for engineering and scientists. this will make companies want to train more people and hire more people. the only people who will be affected the most are the uneducated people. i also believe that it shouldn’t matter if you are foreigner or American to qualify for the job. everyone should be treated equally for the job because they both studied the same things to qualify for that certain job.

    On May 25, 1961, U.S. President John F. Kennedy stood in front of a joint session of Congress and stated that the United States should set a goal to land a man on the moon and returning him safely to the planet earth. this was not just Kennedy’s dream, it was the whole nations dream. it was some thing that took technology to a higher level and made people believe in many new things. telling kids in this generation about the past and how the first man landed on moon definitely does make the youngsters want to do some thing big in there career when they grow up and want to invest in these fields. technology has changed the world in many ways.

    I think that science should be more interesting for kids and it should be more hands on or else students will lose their interest in education. i think the professors should change the way they teach instead of teaching on the smart-board they should teach more on the blackboard because not only the professors go too fast with the smart-board while they teaching on the slides but they also skip a lot of the stuff. this makes the student not want to learn and want to drop out of school or class.

  7. STEM education is always needed and will continue to be needed. US needs to be able to compete with rising power houses like China and Asia. I believe that more investments should be made and opportunities given. The technology field keep growing. Better technology, more money.The world evolves majorly around science technology and math. I agree with Doctor Vest that the government should invest more in physical science and engineering. Also, the US should make bigger investments in Science and Math education for all kids from grades K to 8th. I believe that schools should keep kids more interested in science. The 8th grade teacher, Ms. Pena does so by showing her students experiments. She stated that she makes the science real and bring it to the classrooms. She make them read articles which make them question things and the world around them. I know that money may be spent in certain schools for labs or other activities based on the neighborhoods which is unfortunate.
    All kids and schools should have the same opportunities.

    I believe that if someone should have priority in being hired, it should be a citizen who is born here ans studied here, if that citizen is qualified. If he is not or not enough qualified, people who are not citizen but are qualified enough should be hired.

    Dr. Gloho stated that there was a surplus of students majoring in STEM in the US. 500, 000 people graduate every year with a STEM degree. He also said that the US benefited from using students from abroad, however he couldn’t explain how. I was wondering, do they get paid less because they are from foreign countries? Dr. Vest reported that the unemployment in the engineer field is only 2% and that 12 out of 15 paying jobs are in the STEM industry. There are many problems according to Dr. Vest in the STEM industry: quality, quantity, diversity, inspiration, and opportunities spaces. The US needs scientists and engineers who are or will be the job creators of the future.

    We need students to be more computer literate, have more quantitative skills, and understand processes of statistics.
    I agree with Dr. Vest who stated that technology should be for all kids and citizen. Everyone should have the opportunity to learn science whether you grew up, live in a poor neighborhood, middle class, and no matter what your background is.

    “Kids today are really interested in changing the world for the better. We need to show them how these fields play into that” stated Dr. Vest. There are concerns for parents of young kids who are interested in science. Two moms who both have three children were concerned about the cost of science schools,college, and Universities. Once mom was still paying for her education (owed $30,000). Another mom stated that her kid loved science and would like to learn more however no money was spent on labs which often made kids more interested and learning better. The teacher, Ms. Pena said that there are many existing science scholarships for students interested in STEM. Also, that is where funding is and the future is.

    The cost of education is a major issue in the US and people do not want to end up in debt which often last years to repay. For that reason, student often will not continue their education.
    Learning of science should be improved and the cost of education decreased (Dr. Vest).
    A concern parent in the audience stated that we should encourage science education for 80% of the average student. Mr. Kasner answered that the NAVY started a program in middle schools called the family science project in different states and cities. This program is already occurring in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx. This program was created to stimulate kids in science. He believe that everyone should have the chance to learn and practice science. They can then chose the science field if they want to. He reported that the production of engineers has been low and is concerned about the future US students graduating. According to Dr. Krasner, 70% of graduate are foreign born and will eventually return to their homeland. He also think that it will become harder to hire future foreigners because of security clearance issues.

    For 30 years, foreign graduates have been coming to the USA to work in the STEM field. 25% of workforce is foreign born (according to Dr. Vest).

    People come to the US because of the job opportunities. If they are qualified, and noon else is taking that job, they should.

    Ms. Pena (the science teacher) said that kids learn differently and their attention span is much shorter. It is important and essential to do a lot of lab, show them the experiments, demonstrate the experiences and give them the opportunity to explain their thought process.

    I believe that many kids in our days get quickly bored when a teacher just speaks for a long period of time. By showing them what the professor is talking about, it may help them understand (better), keep them interested, wanted to learn more, and curious.

    The engineering field is and has been dominated by male for many years. One of the reasons I believe is because men were (and sill are) worried about women doing better than them which has been happening for years now. Today, more woman are engineers but still not enough. Harassment in the job was and still is a concern for women. Women have proven taht they can do any jobs that men do. There was a 350% growth of women graduating with a bachelore degree in social and health sciences. By having more women in the STEM field, I believe there will be more inspiration for the youth (girls) to be in that field.

    Another reason why the engineer field did not grow over 40 to 50 years period is the lack of opportunities for minorities in that field which Dr. Linsey reported.

    Each generation should face their own great challenges which include the environmental and the health issues.
    It was obviously proven with the reach of the moon which created so many opportunities for people, and more money spent in these fields that a far reaching goal can create many positive outcomes . I do believe that often a reached goal generates more interest, more investment, and jobs. Though, it all depends on the goal. In today’s world, in the STEM fields, I believe that the far reaching goal is needed to inspire people to invest.Technology keeps and will continue growing all around the world.

    At the end of the day, whether you are studying, working in the STEM fields or not, I believe that we are all scientists, just with different opinions.

  8. bio 7900 Professor Seto

    I believe that everyone should have the equal opportunity to science technology. Engineering and math education, I don’t agree with the panel when they stated that foreigners are coming in and taking their jobs, in the field of science and technology. I feel that US will lose out on the opportunity if they don’t realize that the kids are all here to get an education and be discipline. Foreigner or not, we should educate our children and employ them for the right reasons.
    I agree that kids are natural born scientist. I think we should keep scientist as scientist and engineers as engineers, but there is nothing wrong if someone want to expand their education or field of study. Hands on is the best way to go. I agree that we should start early with field study expose the children to stimulate their brain at an early age. I do think the economic background has a lot to do with the way our children get their education. We need to stop pouring out the money at the end and use it in the beginning. In elementary, middle school and college should get the money. Invest in the future of our children. It is very important for all of our kids to obtain equal education, foreign or not. We should help our kids find their talents. I think another way to inspire the children is to invite scientist and engineers into the classroom to speak. Let them be the role models for our children.
    JFK goal of reaching the moon was achieved and generated a flood of innovation; I don’t feel like some for reaching their goal is needed to inspire us to invest in these fields. The goals are in our children. We should look close to home and start preparing them to face the future and the challenges ahead. Small ideas can become great one for the future.
    One person dream can inspire a whole nation. Its starts in the classroom, I believe if we make it interesting for the children they will learn. Foreign students come to obtain higher education in the STEM fields and many return to their country of origin for better financial outlooks. They also return because like the panel mention they don’t get employ in the US Army and other areas because of security reasons.
    If I came to this country for a higher education, knowing that after I graduate I will not be able to obtain a job I will be prepare to go back to my country of origin where it is promising.

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