STEM education benefits students in the county

Published 7:00 am Friday, October 2, 2015

By now it is a cliché to point out that American children must be educated so well as to be able to compete globally. It is also a well-known truth that jobs that once demanded more skills in manual labor than math, including farming and factory work, now demand computer skills, mathematics and often a science background in engineering or chemistry.
With that in mind, American public schools have, for years, rightly pushed extracurricular learning in science, technology, engineering and math, known collectively as STEM. Nationally, these programs are both popular and prolific. The idea behind the push is to get kids interested in science and math before they go to college so, when they get to a university, they will be able to take, say, an engineering course with confidence.
But, as we reported on the front page, a national survey finds that Mississippi schoolchildren have much less access to STEM courses than their counterparts in other states.
This reflects poorly on our state’s commitment to both the economy and our children, and we hope our state leaders will try hard to make up for lost time. That said, we are happy to also report the Pearl River County community seems to be doing a fine job introducing STEM programs to children. This is good news, as it will only help bolster our county’s economy in the future. Businesses want to move into communities that offer good educations and by cultivating young engineers and scientists, we are showing our community to be among the best in the state.
Mississippi is home to oil and gas companies, numerous manufacturing companies, agribusinesses and, of course, Stennis Space Center. We have good-paying jobs at home for our children, should they choose to stay. But even if our children do not remain in the Magnolia State, the fruits of their education will reward them wherever they go—from Biloxi to Bangkok.

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