Curriculum Adds More Math and Science
The nationwide effort to generate more interest in those subjects is paying off in mid-Missouri.
"We want engineers, and chemists and physicists in places like Intel, or retired professionals to go into the classroom and excite students about the possibility of math and science," said President Bush.
Columbia public school officials said their goal is to make students more excited about math and science. Chip Sharp coordinates the math curriculum for grades 6-12.
"In our district, we are very fortunate that, at both high schools right now, we have about 95%-97% of the students taking mathematics," he noted. "We feel that the programs that we offer have already gotten a large number of students involved."
Columbia curriculum coordinators have set up math and science programs that let students join clubs, meet guest speakers, and even work with MU students.
But, with technology changing so rapidly, Sharp said it's hard to keep up.
"Even before President Bush indicated his interest in math in his State of the Union," Sharp explained, "it was clear that more high-level math was helpful to students to be prepared when they leave K-12 programs."
"We have one new program with the University of Missouri, with the engineering department, called Insights," said science curriculum coordinator Sara Torres. "And that is where our science teachers are paired up with, in most cases, an industrial tech teacher."
Starting next year, Columbia public school students must take one more hour of class in math and also in science.