California’s response to declining skills

In this piece written by the President of Building Engineering and Science Talent (BEST), John Yochelson, for SiliconValley.com, California’s efforts to address the decline in science education are highlighted, including examples of other community based efforts to achieve the same goal. By creating a program specifically for incoming freshman geared toward producing K-12 science teachers, the University of California system is partnering with business and industry.

Part of the motivation stems from what Yochelson considers the phenomenal growth in other foreign economies and changes in our own,

With China and India churning out tens of thousands of additional engineers each year, poorly paid research apprenticeships in science lasting longer, and the incomes of business and law school graduates going up, it is no surprise that U.S. degree production in many key technical fields has been flat or down since the mid-1980s.

The decline in technical skills and interest in science stems from many sources, which is why multiple efforts are underway to address it. Science and technology disciplines in education need better promotion. We need to do a better job of selling the science.

BEST is an organization founded in 2001 as a result of the recommendations from the 2000 Congressional Commission on the Advancement of Women and Minorities in Science, Engineering and Technology Development.

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