Cultural, educational changes in STEM necessary | Letter

There is little doubt that in today’s science, technology, engineering and math fields there continues to be an overwhelming lack of diversity. This systemic issue is no small matter; the United States has been falling behind in STEM on the global level, and lack of diversity is a major cause. While many could say the biases of those hiring in STEM fields are to blame, the education system is the bigger culprit. Lack of resources and education at the public school level and the STEM culture at the university level are the root of the issue, and this needs to change. The public school system puts excessive amounts of emphasis on standardized tests in reading and basic math, reallocating funds from the sciences to mitigate these shortcomings. This hits areas of low income and diversity especially hard, putting these students vastly behind their privileged counterparts when they go to university. Overcoming this disadvantage is only met by new challenges at the university level. Even with the many clubs and programs to include women and people of color, the issue stems from student culture in STEM programs. To no one’s surprise, the majority of STEM majors are white males, making it difficult for diversity to thrive. With human tendency to form in-groups and out-groups, this creates an unspoken pressure for women and people of color to perform at either an exceptionally high level or withdraw from the major, and, sadly, the latter is more common. Needless to say, there must be major educational and cultural changes in the American attitude towards STEM if we expect to stay a leader in science and technology. Education and diversity are what breed success, and it’s about time we realized it.

Jack Bull, Auburn

More in Opinion

Bob Roegner
Federal Way key to Senate control

Voter turnout will be the key as insiders say the race polls within the margin for error.

Mirror endorses candidates for 30th District

How you cast your vote will depend on which candidates’ values best match your principles.

Will council challenge Federal Way mayor on homeless issue?

Closing 27 homeless encampments in less than a year sends a bad message.

Prosecutor Satterberg faces rare challenge

Morris working hard to make this a competitive race.

The power of community

It’s people like her who I get to meet every day that remind me why I am passionate about being a journalist.

Federal Way needs new direction on dealing with gun, safety issues

One city has shown the courage to stand up and start the discussion.

Federal Way’s marketing message is right in front of us

Rather than aim at the business, why not tailor our approach to their employees?

Federal Way Municipal Court
Racial disparities and jury service in Federal Way

We all have a choice, a choice that is especially important for persons of color today.

Kids are dying to learn about sexuality

School should not be a place where lives are threatened, whether by gun violence, or by ignorant and vitriolic bullying that contributes to suicide.

Political forecast for Federal Way’s elected leaders

It is late summer, and insiders and activists spend much time on political speculation waiting for November.

Federal Way has become an economic ugly duckling

Can this city fill its vacant office buildings and attract a few high-end anchor corporations to re-establish a solid middle-class core?

Mayor Ferrell: The whole story paints a different picture

The great Mark Twain once said: “A lie can travel halfway around… Continue reading