- Does access equal participation? Access for what students? PLTW is historically attractive to male students. How could this $1,ooo,ooo incentivize and improve the lack of participation, equity and accessibility for women and minorities in engineering?
- Whose definition of rigorous are we using here? and by what standard? To call something rigorous doesn’t make it rigorous. How could this $1,ooo,ooo help PLTW define their rigor via academic research and validation?
- How do we define STEM curriculum these days? Oh wait…. there is no real definition, because STEM has become a policy buzzword that has lost it’s meaning. Didn’t PLTW formerly advertise as engineering curriculum? How could this $1,ooo,ooo improve STEM education?
- Finally, If I had a million dollars… (as I start humming Barenaked Ladies) How would I improve STEM education?
If I had a $1,000,000…. for “STEM” Education (but really K-12 Engineering Education)
- If I had a million dollars, I’d invest in developing, researching, and validating engineering curriculum, a truly integrated STEM education, that is accessible to all students and inspires countless students of all races, genders, and creeds to become STEM professionals.
- If I had a million dollars, I’d create a bridge program for seasoned engineers to train to teach in K-12. The experience they can offer students is INVALUABLE.
- If I had a million dollars, I’d recruit engineering undergrads to teach engineering in K-12, and offer them incentives to educate our future.
- If I had a million dollars, I’d offer current K-12 Engineering teachers industry externships, to experience true engineering design, and real applications of science and math. Give them experience to take back to the classroom!
I am glad to hear that industry leaders such as Lockheed Martin are supporting STEM education. I am happy for the 49 schools that have received grants to implement PLTW. I am hopeful that the some 50K students that have access to these programs see that engineers make a world of difference and help shape our future… and engineering is a great career for ALL people.
And finally, If I had a million dollars, I’d be rich.
EDIT Jan 8, 2012. This morning I spoke with David Dimmett, PLTW Senior Vice President and Chief Engagement Officer. We had a really encouraging conversation about the research objectives of PLTW. He shared with me this PDF summary of some of the current research: PLTW Research Summary by DR.TAI