Connect with us

Local News

Purdue University professor advocates for STEM education to begin early



Indianapolis, Indiana – Leading voices in education are pushing parents and teachers to expose younger pupils to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) issues as Indiana attempts to address a persistent “brain drain” problem of young talent moving to other areas.

“If we don’t have them interested in STEM by eighth grade, we’re probably not going to get them into STEM by then after that,” Dr. Brandon Sorge said during an interview with WISH-TV’s Daybreak on Thursday. Sorge is an associate professor for Purdue at IUPUI (soon to be Purdue University in Indianapolis).

Sorge says he’s especially worried about girls and young women slipping through the system without exposure to STEM fields, citing Women’s History Month. “Therefore, we really need to push them to get involved and have these experiences early in life, since those kids were doing something that seemed crucial to this as well.”

Sorge places a lot of focus on creating a workforce that can succeed in the STEM fields. The state has long-standing and widely recognized issues. For context, consider the recommendations made by Governor Eric Holcomb on STEM education during his first few months in office and in his most recent budget.

In addition to stressing the need to give kids time to think and make connections between the experience and the actual world, Sorge argues that early exposure to STEM concepts and projects through hands-on activities is a crucial first step.

“A scientist is not always reading in a book,” he says. “They’re doing things, they’re experimenting, they’re trying to be successful -and fail- at the same time, because we learn so much from failing! Providing these students that opportunity to really get their hands dirty, get involved in doing things and recognizing that it doesn’t always work the time doing it over again and then making that meaning out of it afterwards.”

Regarding senior pupils, a recently launched Purdue initiative seeks to assist Indiana in realizing the advantages of STEM education. It provides $7,000 in subsidies to out-of-state students who choose to remain in Indiana and pursue employment.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *