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My rant about the lack of focus on STEM in the United States.

I believe the lack of focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) will eventually be the downfall of American dominance in the world.

When I look back at how such a young country became such a dominant force, my research delivers me to the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Back then, of course due to the influence of war, America used to have a different attitude about science and technology. There was a huge focus on "The world of tomorrow". There was genuine excitement from the public at large for what the future would hold. Much of this focus stemmed around new technologies like smart homes, and smart cars.

America became a world dominant power after WWII, because we invested in technology. We built the atom bomb, we launched rockets into space, and landed a man on the moon. This feed into the public at large as we literally created new industries that didn't exist anymore. The age of GPS paved the way for innovations in radio, microcomputing, and biology. America was doing things that literally no one else in the world could do. Our economy thrived and we became THE world power.

Cut to 50 years later and there is a toxic air about STEM. We have a society which is turining their backs against what made us great. People are worried concerned because jobs are leaving the United States. Well I say, start doing things that no one else can do again. We've let the world catch up, and in many cases, pass us by.

The keep to making America great again is not religion or clever politics. It is paving the way with new sciences, new technologies, that make America the ONLY place these things can be done.

Unfortunately, we've lost that wonder. We've lost that drive. People don't understand science let alone believe in it's power of exposure. Hopefully, we wake up from our hiatus and return to our wondrous selves.

By Rinzler8323
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4 comments

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0

It saddens me at the lack of educational opportunities my grandchildren have. There are a lot of grandkids out there. smile009.gif

Annaleda Level 8 Nov 29, 2017
0

As long as we maintain our freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, and the government doesn't spend us into a sovereign debt default, the USA will still be an attractive place for immigrants trained in STEM.

BD66 Level 7 Oct 8, 2017
1

A meaty post -- well said. You wrote: "There was a huge focus on "The world of tomorrow". There was genuine excitement from the public at large for what the future would hold."

I was reminded of an exhibit at Disneyland in California when I was a kid. It was a theater-type setting, and there was a carousel of stages that revolved, each stage representing a decade (if I remember correctly) -- showing how far we'd come -- the advancements we had made through technology and what the future would look like.

As a child, I was awed. As an adult, I'm no longer awed. Like you mentioned, STEM, and education has been placed in the backseat. The satirical movie "Idiocracy" is becoming reality.

0

I agree. America would rather spend money on war and our military than on research and development. In my opinion, that is where our future lies and we are falling behind. Our infrastructure is failing, our healthcare system is in chaos, medications are so expensive people must choose between food and the medications they need. Our young people who manage to get through college do so at the expense of their future being held hostage by astronomical student debt.

I'm 70 and I was absolutely thrilled with the technology and it's rapid development back in the 60's, 70's and 80's. We got our first TV when I was about 14, I saw the USA put a man on the moon and just can't believe we haven't gone back or invested more into the science of space exploration because the R&D done for those missions was passed on the people. I saw computers come about. In 1965 when I graduated from high school, I went to a brand new study program to learn computers because back then computer science wasn't in colleges. I saw the first jet land at our city's major airport. It was such an exciting time. Even now, I look at our technology and I'm amazed. The capacity and capability of my cell phone is probably greater than the first computer I worked on (an IBM 1401).

I want to see more of that but we are being bettered by other countries who invest in their youth and R&D and by countries who offer cheap labor. It's so sad. We would rather spend trillions of dollars enhancing our military so we can wage wars because someone wants to make a personal profit or someone hasn't learned even the basic of how to negotiate and so we end up picking a fight and killing people on the other side of the world. It just breaks my heart.

OK, I guess I've gone on way too long. The bottom line is agree 100% with your statements and I wish there was something more I could do about it than send money when I can and be politically active to change things. Sigh...

KLMFTFW Level 5 Oct 6, 2017
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