The American Physical Society believes that a society literate in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is essential in an age of rapid technological advances. Students, K-12 and beyond, need high quality education in STEM-related fields to compete in our global economy. Many of today’s major issues, such as global warming, nuclear nonproliferation and waste management, and the looming energy crisis, require an understanding of the basic sciences to shape effective policy decisions. This understanding can only come about with a strong investment in our nation’s STEM education at all levels. Targeting areas that research and develop educational best practices and improve the preparation of highly qualified STEM teachers are key actions needed to achieve these goals.
An example of the importance of science education is the controversy surrounding the teaching of the Theory of Evolution. The Theory of Evolution has survived extensive testing and repeated verification; it is not a belief, a hunch, or an untested hypothesis. Any attempt to dilute the significance of evolution in science education does a disservice to all science students. The society opposes the teaching of creationism, intelligent design, or any non-scientifically verifiable theory in science classrooms at any level.
Read more APS positions and statements.
Recent Society Activity
On May 11th, the House Science Committee introduced three bills to strengthen and enhance federal support of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and research. The Science and Mathematics Education for Competitiveness Act (H.R. 5358), sponsored by Rep. John Schwarz (R-MI), primarily focuses on the expansion of preexisting NSF programs to improve math and science education and to attract more undergraduates to STEM careers and K-12 teaching. The other two bills, the Early Career Research Act (H.R. 5356) and the Research for Competitiveness Act (H.R. 5357), both sponsored by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), would authorize or increase grant programs at NSF and DOE to assist early-career researchers. Because the bills are in line with APS statements on science education, APS President John Hopfield sent a letter of endorsement to House Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY).