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U.S. students below average in science and math: STEM the tide at the Ed Center

A recent study of the science and math skills of 15 year olds in 65 countries showed that American students tested below average. Students in Canada, Korea, Finland and New Zealand tested in the top 10 percent.

Because most business and government leaders agree that good skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are essential for our nation to compete in the global workforce, this deficiency must be corrected soon. Training in STEM curricula leads to more job opportunities, better jobs and higher salaries. There is a projected shortfall of more than 280,000 math and science teachers across the country by 2015.

The Archuleta County Education Center has refocused its After School Enrichment programs to emphasize STEM curricula. Starting this fall, the After School Enrichment Program for grades five to eight will integrate science, technology, engineering and math into all of its classes. Students demonstrating special interest or skills in science and math will learn about careers in these and related areas. Other students will learn about how the scientific process leads to facts which they will use everyday to make decisions.

Learning will be inquiry-based, student-centered and skill-driven where innovation is valued over traditional learning. The curriculum will help students see practical applications of science and math studied in their regular classes. The curriculum will also draw from the experience of scientists, engineers and mathematicians living in Pagosa Springs.

The Ed Center is currently accepting applications for an instructor for the Middle School Enrichment Program, which will emphasize science, technology, engineering and math. Contact the Ed Center at 4th and Lewis streets, or call 264-2843 for more information.

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