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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)

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