I hate to be cynical about this piece in The Columbian. Yes, kids should learn math. There is interesting stuff there. It opens up worlds later on. I wish I had studied harder as a kid. But math and science will never be cool.
In Our View: Science & Math Are Cool
In my view: Cool? I hope there’s some evidence to back that up instead of a HEYKIDS!!!!!! type intro.
Many middle-school students fear science and math as much as cooties and wedgies. Neither subject is ranked on their cool-things-at-school list. And later, in high school, those preconceived notions improperly guide their course selections and career choices.However, those stereotypes are fading, thanks in part to Washington STEM, a nonprofit that is celebrating its first anniversary this week. For the purpose of this editorial, the key letters in the STEM acronym are the first and the last. “Science” and “math” form the foundation — especially in middle school — for meaningful high-school diplomas, attractive résumés for college applicants and, ultimately, lucrative careers. First, though, we have to convince kids to stop hating on science and math.
Cooties? Are middle schoolers 6? For goodness sake. Look, kids should learn hard sciences. They should learn them for the somewhat important things in the paragraph, and more importantly they should also learn them for their own sake. But teachers, journalists, and other authority figures are never going to be cool. They should recognize that, and focus on why these programs actually matter.
And the rest of the article is praise for the program mostly couched, bizarrely as this sounds, as statements of praise for the program as the program. I don’t know enough about it, but I’m happy to spend money on the hard sciences. But it’s a strange intro and last line.
So spread the word: Science and math are cool. Even journalists think so.
No, I’m going to spread the word that math and science are important, and you’ll be glad you took them. But sorry, they still aren’t cool.