RECLAIMING OUR FUTURE: STRENGTHENING EDUCATION AND OUTCOMES IN STEM
The last moon landing and the end of the Apollo program marked the beginning of a steady decline in the number of students majoring in science, technology, engineering and mathematics—the "STEM" disciplines.
Our national failure to attract and retain students in these fields, the strengthening of the talent pool overseas, and a number of global economic factors have all contributed to a weakening of America’s once-powerful role in research and development. The U.S. now ranks 20th in the proportion of its college-age populations that earn first university degrees in the natural sciences.
Without re-establishing U.S. competitiveness in these fields, our ability to research, problem-solve and innovate is severely threatened. STEM innovations fuel our economic vitality and even strengthen our national security. A $19.6-million effort will help turn the tide by enhancing teacher education in STEM fields, dramatically improving the university’s STEM-related laboratory infrastructure, and expanding specialized programs to get students into STEM degree programs and out to tomorrow’s workforce.