In 1993, the proposed Superconducting Super Collider (SSC) project of Waxahachie, Texas, was cancelled. This massive structure would have been three times as large as the recently completed Large Hadron Collider in Geneva and many times more powerful. With its cancellation, two generations of physics progress have been lost for the United States. This singular event is epitomical of a broader set of issues in the United States; namely, the issues of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, their funding, and research and development in these fields.
In the second decade of the 21st century, we face a continuation of the patterns begun with the cancellation of the SSC. India and China's technical competencies are consistently rising while American education in the sciences is lagging. Funding for scientific progress has been inhibited by myriad factors -- economical, political, and otherwise. One of the most egregious patterns observed is an utter lack of stimulation of interest at the primary and secondary levels. Each of these patterns impacts America's place in the global economy, and each is embodied in the Dallas area.
Our project concerns these patterns; our aim is to provide an accessible yet thorough and in-depth database of the issues facing science education in the Dallas area, with the hope that this information can affect policy, education, and funding reform for the Dallas metroplex area as well as the nation at large.
Our project will focus heavily on the student side of STEM education, while also seeking wisdom from professionals in the industries and academia. It will consist of two primary areas of investigation: the collegiate level and the secondary level.
students, research, Dallas, Texas
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Fleming, Jacob; Saucedo, Alex; and Hart, Jessica, "STEM Future Dallas" (2012). Big iDeas 2012 Proposals. 3.