"Next" Magazine Vol. 3 Fall 2016 - Page 16

M A K I N G A N Dr. Rebecca Krall talks with students about the impact of water quality on ecosystems. STEM Education Department works to provide research and training with schools across state J STORY AND PHOTOS BY AMANDA NELSON obs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, collectively known as STEM, are a safe bet when choosing a career in today’s economy. They are growing faster than the average for all occupations. One of the biggest barriers to filling these spots? The number of students who become turned off by the subjects between kindergarten and high school. The UK College of Education is heavily invested in changing this trend. The STEM Education Department in the college works to not only produce great teachers, but also provide research and training with schools across the state. “American students are bored by mathematics, science and engineering. They buy smartphones and tablets by the millions but don’t pursue the skills necessary to build them. Engineers and physicists are often portrayed as clueless geeks on television, and despite the high pay and the importance of such jobs to the country’s future, the vast majority of high school graduates don’t want to go after them.” Recently, The New York Times editorial board summed up the lack of attraction to the field. Here, you will read a sampling of stories from faculty members who are reinvigorating the profession. 16 |