What is the purpose of this website and project?
Science & Engineering in the Lives of Students (SELS) has the objective of designing an augmentation to teaching science to address pressing issues in science education that affect a majority of school age youth. SELS has been motivated by the fellow observations about STEM education in high school and student views about a post-high school education.
Without adequate preparation in science and mathematics, and knowledge of technological applications for meeting human needs and interests, U.S. students are limiting their ability to participate in and understand industries and products that will shape their future.
Overall the number of engineering and engineering technology bachelor’s degrees earned in the U.S. in 2003 is 80% of the number earned in 1985.
Who is this website designed for?
Decreasing enrollment by US students in engineering and the shortage of well prepared technicians and workers in the skilled trades are symptoms of a larger statistic that many American youth are disenchanted with school because they do not see its value to their future.
Students set expectations of going to a 4-year college even as they are losing motivation and interest in school.
Student motivation to take STEM courses has been eroded by high school teachers and counselors who under-value careers in technical occupations requiring a two-year degree and/or technical training that would help students envision a more attainable and rewarding post-high school educational pathway.
At a time when some form of post-secondary education has become a necessity, only about a third to half of high school graduates who do enroll complete a two or four-year degree in six years.
The terrible irony of this situation is highlighted by the fascination held by children and young adults for the fruits of new technologies, for example in electronics, materials science, acoustics, and design of public and personal living and working spaces.