Recently, there have been many efforts to encourage high school graduates to major in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) when they enter college or university. As some of you may know, this has become a concern, at least in the USA, although it may not be the same for other countries such as China or India. The issue is the declining trend of young scientists and engineers in the pipeline of many professional fields of STEM. I am an engineer myself. I know how important STEM education is to the national economy and security as well as the global effort on environmental protection. In the USA, engineering enrollment had declined for sometime until the population of high school graduates grew recently. Overall, university enrolment has increased but not necessarily in those areas of STEM. Data have shown that women engineering student enrolment has increased steadily in the past decade or two although African and Hispanic Americans may not catch up at the same pace. The increase in women engineering students has to do with the change of people’s perception of STEM. For example, parents and grandparents have a tendency to buy toys such as doll houses and tea sets for girls and racing cars and fire engines for boys. The misconception is that girls are not considered suitable to handle tools and machines. It is desirable that parents break with tradition and adjust their views on what they expect their children to grow and how to guide their children to STEM career. With the help of many parties, some progress towards boosting students majoring in STEM has been made. But, a lot remains to be done.
- Inderscience Publishers
- Forum: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Science for Environment Policy
Potentially toxic elements in European soils mapped by researchers.A new study has mapped levels of chemical elements found in Europe a aoricultTal soils. In most places, unusually high concentrations are linked t geology, such as high levels of arsenic in the Massif Central in France. Huma.. activity is to blame in some small areas, for example high concentrations of mercury were found near London and Paris. Abnormal concentrations, both too low and too high, could pose an environmental risk. This new...
These fires are huge, hidden and harmful. What can we do?
Smoldering peat gives off massive quantities of carbon dioxide and other pollutants, but the search for solutions is on. As forest fires devastated Fort McMurray, Alberta, last month, a different sort of fire may have started beneath the ground. Peat, a carbon-rich soil created from partially decomposed, waterlogged vegetation accumulated over several millennia and the stuff that fueled Indonesia’s megafires last fall, also appears in the boreal forests that span Canada, Alaska and Siberia. With the...
3 Questions: Amanda Giang on controlling Mercury Pollution in India and China
Original story at MIT News MIT graduate student studies how a new U.N. treaty could affect mercury emissions from coal power plants in Asia. The Minamata Convention on Mercury, a global treaty adopted by the United Nations in 2013, aims to reduce worldwide mercury pollution by setting limits on specific pollution sources and prohibiting new mercury mining. Certain aspects of the treaty are still under negotiation: For instance, nations have the flexibility to create their own plans for reducing mercury emissions...
Peat restoration – the key solution for large peat-fires in Russia - Case Study
Thanks to an active and laborious fire-fighting operation the recent peat and forest fires in Tver Province were localised and the region was saved from events becoming as dramatic as in 2010 when dense smoke haze covered the city of Moscow for weeks. Still, the region’s economy and ecology again suffered severely from the fires, as well as the climate. Wetlands International argues that restoration of degraded and abandoned peatlands, is one of the key solutions to avoid often reoccurring dry weather...
Climate and economy fan flames in Spain
Climate change is gradually turning Spain into a fire zone – but it’s also the change in the economic climate that is inflaming the situation. A research group reports in the journal Environmental Science and Policy that a mix of factors is behind the rise in both the numbers of forest fires and the areas of land scorched over the last 40 years. Vanesa Moreno, a researcher in the geography department at the University of Alcalá in Madrid, and colleagues studied the pattern of fires in Spain...