Today at noon (EST), former Vice President Al Gore, inventor Dean Kamen, astronaut Sally Ride, and "Mythbusters" Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage will join youth from around the world for a town hall style discussion on math and science, the attitudes youth have about them, and their importance for the future.
CAMM Worldwide (Connect a Million Minds), which is hosting the event, is a philanthropic initiative by Time Warner Cable (one of the largest television cable operators in the US) to solve the problems the US faces in STEM education. They pose the problem:
The US is ranked 35th in math and 29th in science worldwide. Why are we so far behind?
Through interviews with US children as well as those in three countries that rank higher in these areas--Finland, China, and Russia--they found that:
- The non-American kids assume that to be successful in life, they have to do well in math and science. U.S kids did not say the same.
- Those outside the US are also more aware that they will compete in a global marketplace and not just against kids in their own country.
- In the US, there is more social stigma attached to being smart and doing well in school. In contrast, in other countries, the smart kids are considered cool.