“But, we must do more to grow STEM programs in our schools. We must increase the focus on inquiry-based learning in all fields. We must increase the emphasis on “computational thinking”, which is changing every field. We must increase computer-science offerings in high schools — both here and nationally. The vast majority of job openings across all STEM fields are in computing. Let us not forget the importance of supporting our teachers to become certified to teach STEM.
“We also must increase access to bachelor’s programs at Washington’s universities in computer science and other engineering fields. When we turn qualified students away from these high-demand fields, we deny them the opportunity to be first-tier participants in our state’s innovation economy.”
To see the sad state of STEM education at all levels in Washington State, see the slideset here (a presentation by Ed Lazowska at the 2011 annual meeting of the Washington State Academy of Sciences). Read the Seattle Times op-ed here.