American students rank 21st out of 30 developed nations in science literacy and 25th in math literacy. To boost performance in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), the White House has launched an “Educate to Innovate” campaign, and it even held the first White House Science Fair. In this series on STEM education in America, With Good Reason is asking national policy experts, educators, and innovators why STEM matters and why women and minorities are being targeted. We talk with Linda Rosen (Change the Equation) about changing how we teach, Robert Tai (University of Virginia) about the origins of the acronym S-T-E-M, Leanna Giancarlo (University of Mary Washington) about the “mad scientist” stereotype, and Sevan Terzian (University of Florida), who says it all begins with—what else?—Sputnik.

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