Climate Action

Bill Nye the STEM Guy

Bill Nye is best known for his quirky educational videos that show young students that science is fun. Yet no matter how much kids love Bill Nye, they don’t follow him into the sciences. Proficiency in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) subjects in the United States is low and high school students do not go on to study STEM in college. According to the U.S. Department of Education, STEM related careers will increase 14 percent between 2010 and 2020, accounting for millions of positions available for students. But with the lack of interest in STEM subjects, many jobs will be left unfilled.   Nye says the ability to innovate and come up with new ideas is what keeps the U.S. in the game economically, and innovation isn’t possible without STEM.   So what’s the fix?   Sparking interest in high school may be too late. Nye believes that schools must promote curriculum to students at a young age, fostering interest in the science fields and throughout their entire educational careers.   The U.S. government is committed to cultivating STEM talent at a young age. President Obama’s proposed 2015 fiscal budget contains $170 million for STEM-related education programs. But Nye states that corporations and other groups need to invest in STEM education to protect their own interests in the long run.   Many Americans lack the value of STEM in the real world— but science, technology, engineering and math evoke the most progressive inventions and theories of all mankind. Through Earth Day Network’s Educators Network, teachers around the world have access to lesson plans, activities, and school community actions that promote knowledge and interest of environmental issues. Lesson plans are aligned to the National Science Education Standards from the National Academies of Science, and can be integrated into other subject areas, connecting environmental issues to all aspects of life.   This year is the 45th anniversary of Earth Day. With the theme “It’s Our Turn to Lead,” EDN is coordinating Climate Education Week (April 18th-25th) and we are going the extra mile to provide our education coordinators across the nation with climate-science-based curricula, posters, and writing contests to keep students engaged.     Hannah Oneil, Intern