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Is the United States Making Progress in STEM Education?

STEM is getting plenty of ink following the second White House Science Fair, which took place last week. Despite the refreshingly high profile that STEM education is enjoying at the present time, the data tells a story that leaves little room for celebration, suggests James M. Lindsay. While we're hearing about the importance of the U.S turning out more STEM majors, the numbers remain relatively modest.  The reasons for students' reluctance to turn in droves to the sciences are well-established.  Science is hard; there are easier paths to the goal of a good GPA.  Teacher quality in STEM fields can be weak.  Fields like finance, with its promise of a fat paycheck, lure mathematically talented students from the potential pool of students well-equipped for sci-tech fields.  Changing the trend "will cost a lot of money, something that cash-strapped local, state, and federal governments don’t have in abundance," Lindsay says. "But it is the kind of investment the United States will need to make if it wants to stay competitive."

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