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The Asian century is gaining momentum: universities must prepare

The Guardian – Matt Durnin

“Amidst the handwringing over the effect of Brexit on the UK’s universities, we need to contemplate our place in a future global economy driven by technology and innovation. From where will the most important discoveries of the coming decades emerge? Which countries and cities will give birth to the technologies, cures and ideas that will shape our future? China spends five times that of the UK on R&D each year. For universities hoping to build or maintain their position as global leaders in innovation and enterprise, China is hard to overlook as an option.”(more)

Don’t let the world pass us by on science: Editorial

The Star – Staff Writer

“‘Holding their own’ may be too rosy. Countries like China, Switzerland and Singapore significantly improved their showings in this year’s top-200 list, a reflection of strategic policies and aggressive investments in scientific infrastructure and researchers. Meanwhile, Canada has been moving in the opposite direction. Only six Canadian universities made the current top 200, down from eight last year. This will come as no surprise to Canadian researchers, who have long lamented the federal government’s short-sighted approach to science policy.”(more)

Why Science Education Is Essential For Democracy

The Huffington Post – Arthur Camins

“The current election cycle scares me in ways that I have never felt before. It is not so much the hatred and lies that Donald Trump spews regularly, but the potential for sanctioned violence and irrationality from my fellow citizens. History and morality demand vigorous challenge. My realm is science education. I believe it has a role to play in promoting widespread human decency, equity, and reason. I came to science education advocacy as a young person by way of curiosity, social action, and history. I’m still there. Sure, effective STEM education can prepare students for the jobs of the future. Yes, it can enhance workforce competitiveness is a global economy. However, that is not what drives me.”(more)

What To Do About America’s STEM Education Gap

The Scientific American – Staff Writer

“America has been struggling to keep up when it comes to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. The U.S. placed 35th and 27th out of 64 countries in math and science respectively according to the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment survey. That stinks. Today, Scientific American and Macmillan Learning held the STEM Summit 4.0 at the New York Academy of Sciences. Educators, entrepreneurs and government employees gathered in a space overlooking the lower Manhattan skyline to listen to and discuss strategies for teaching and engaging students in STEM topics. This year’s theme: The Power of Data.”(more)

We Should Explore Mars So That Our Students Will Keep Dreaming Big

The Huffington Post – Janet Ivey

“Why send humans to Mars? Because as Gene Roddenberry said, “We are on a journey to keep an appointment with whatever we are.” As a space science educator, a lover of Star Trek, and someone who played “astronaut” on the playground, sending humans to Mars is more than just a good sci-fi fantasy, it is an imperative for humanity. Mars is the first outpost in the colonization of other worlds. And thanks to countless orbiters, landers, and rovers… the more we learn about it, the more Mars beckons. For the past 16 years, I have endeavored to find ways to connect students’ natural curiosity with the wonders of our solar system and the universe, and always with an eye looking back at Earth. As a STEM/STEAM educator, I believe that we must teach science as the greatest adventure story of all time; and allow and inspire students to dream beyond their house, their town, and their own Earth-bound experience.”(more)

STEM education: Not just for the next Neil Armstrong

The Hill – Rep. Randy Hultgren

“”I think I knew as a little girl that I was addicted to the stars and the universe and trying to understand it.”
“I’ve been lucky to have a number of mentors. … For me some of the most exciting [lectures] were on neutron stars, these spinning pulsars.”
“High school teachers were really important. Also my parents — my father always challenged me [with] all kinds of math quizzes.”
This is what some of the top astrophysicists in the world told the Committee on Science, Space and Technology when I asked how they began their journey and were inspired to become scientists. The common thread among all of them? Early, inspiring experiences followed up by relevant school subjects and caring mentors and educators that sparked their interest and gave them a vision of something bigger out there to explore. STEM education — those key subjects of science, technology, engineering and math — was central to their journeys. Yet science and math education isn’t just about building the foundation for a career in research medicine, architecture, space exploration or startup technologies. It’s about learning basic problem-solving.”(more)