It is well known that the number of science (especially math, physics and chemistry) and engineering undergraduate students in America has decreased to record lows. College needs more math, physics, and chemistry students. Otherwise, the country will face a shortage of specialists in these domains. In particular, women and minorities are underrepresented. I have asked myself why this happens in a country where technology and science is very advanced. However things are going to change, at least there are measures to be taken in order to change the current situation.

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The American Association for the Advancement of Science, “Triple A-S” (AAAS), is an international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing science around the world by serving as an educator, leader, spokesperson and professional association. In addition to organizing membership activities, AAAS publishes the journal Science, as well as many scientific newsletters, books and reports, and spearheads programs that raise the bar of understanding for science worldwide.

One of the missions of AAAS is to foster education in science and technology for everyone.

EducationCounsel is an innovative law, policy, strategy, and advocacy organization committed to strengthening education systems, closing achievement gaps, and expanding access to educational opportunities. The firm collaborates with education leaders from across the country, including state and local leaders, higher education officials, associations, foundations, and pioneering private and public entities to improve educational outcomes for all students.

EducationCounsel and the American Association for the Advancement of Science recently offered a plan for producing more science and engineering graduates by bringing research universities into student-centered alliances with two-year, liberal arts, and minority-serving institutions. For example, the Georgia Institute of Technology has an engineering transfer program with 19 other Georgia institutions, including community colleges, historically black colleges and universities, and other four-year state institutions. Another example is a program at MIT which allows students from nearby liberal-arts colleges to take a lab course. (Source: The Chronicle Feb. 2012.)

It is hoped that such cooperation will bring more women and minorities in science.

This is a very important plan, given that among the top ten most popular majors, one can find only Computer Science, and no other science or engineering major. (Source: Georgetown University, National Center for Education Statistics.) Acccording to this source, the top ten are:

  1. Business Management
  2. General Business
  3. Accounting
  4. Nursing
  5. Psychology
  6. Marketing
  7. Communications
  8. Elementary Education
  9. Computer Science
  10. Finance

Also, according to the number of Bachelor’s degrees conferred by degree-granting institutions in 2008–2009, the following selected fields of study are ordered decreasingly as follows:

  1. Business
  2. Social sciences and history
  3. Health professions and related clinical sciences
  4. Education
  5. Psichology
  6. Visual and performing arts
  7. Engineering and engineering technologies
  8. Communications, journalism and communications technologies
  9. Biological and biomedical sciences
  10. Computer and information sciences

In particular, in 2008–09, more than half of the 1.6 million bachelor’s degrees awarded were in five fields: business (22 percent), social sciences and history (11 percent), health professions and related clinical sciences (8 percent), education (6 percent), and psychology (6 percent). (Source: National Center for Education Statistics)

Let’s hope that the country that has so many Nobel laureates in science will be again the world leader in science, engineering and technology education and research & development as it happened not long ago.

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