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October 25, 2007

Math and science

I read with great interest Diane Stafford’s column about the lack of interest in math and science education (10/18, Business, “This adds up to a bad gap”).

I think the problem is with a society that values sports above everything else.

Look at The Star. Every week in the Wednesday and Friday sections, there is a list of high school athletes and the details of all the games in the area. On television, there is a featured athlete every week and coverage of the games.

If a student does well in math or science, there is little interest.

Kids know what our society rewards and values and where they should put their effort.

Another example is music in our schools. My children are very involved in music at the high school level. My daughters have made state orchestras, but there is little interest in promoting these activities for band or orchestra. If a student makes state for some athletic event, it is big news. Meanwhile, we are wondering why classical music is dying in our country.

Only parents can make a difference.

Cheryl Ringeisen
Overland Park



Although I agree that there is way to much emphasis on sports, I doubt that is the reason for a lack of interest in the sciences.

My personal bet is that the kids see the Donald Trumps of the world as the "successes". Or even worse, the hedge fund managers and folks like them.

Scientists are under constant attack for being "anti-God" while paid comparatively low wages. The whole time, the folks who make moneey by running other's money around in circles are viewed almost as gods themselves. Even the crooked ones are viewed this way.

In many ways, this is similar to what happens in the inner cities. The people the kids see who appear successful are the drug dealers and pimps. At the same time, they see the honest folks around them struggling just to eat. And then we wonder why they look up to the "bad people".

In the 50s and 60s scientists were viewed as heros. Want the kids to gett interested? Start promoting those who actually produce something as heroes once again.

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