STEM Club important for tomorrow
By Eunice Park
This past weekend was an exciting one for Perrysburg High School with its domination over Massillon in the football playoffs, and the fall play, The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940.
However, there was another event this week that is worth mentioning.
The PHS STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Club competed at the BEST (Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology) Robotics Competition at Bowling Green University.
The purpose of this event is to cultivate interest in youth who may or may not go into STEM related careers. Academic inclination is not a requirement to participate and students learn various skills such as problem solving, creativity, and teamwork.
As the president of STEM Club, I firmly believe that events such as BEST Robotics is an extremely important investment because the future is in STEM careers or, in the very least, the skills in which they provide.
The United States has become a global leader through innovation, engineering, and scientific breakthroughs. This position is being threatened though, with a new arising problem in youth. According to the U.S. Department of Education, “Only 16 percent of American high school seniors are proficient in mathematics and interested in a STEM career.”
With this low rate of interest in students, the nation is likely to fall behind in science and technology in the next generation.
Not only will the U.S. fall behind globally, but a large influx of foreign workers will be imported to fill the hundreds of thousands of STEM careers that our youth are not. In the 2007 recession, unemployment rates rose to a high of 9.9 percent in 2010. During this time and to this day, STEM careers suffer from longer job vacancy than other fields. The problem of job opportunity lies in the misdirection of the young workforce.
“We’ve made life easier through technology, but we forgot the thinking skills to obtain it,” said Nate Ash, physics teacher at PHS. “Kids aren’t good problem solvers because they’re no longer given problems [and] information is readily available, but solutions aren’t.”
The future lies in STEM, and the future of STEM lies in the new generation.