Assemblyman McKevitt Pushes For Stronger Science Education

March 8, 2006

Today Assemblyman Tom McKevitt (R,C,I – East Meadow) stood in support of the Assembly minority’s “New Edison Project.” The project includes initiatives designed to bring stronger education and a wider interest in math and science to New York’s students.

“Studies have shown that our students are falling behind in the fields of science and mathematics,” stated McKevitt. “The New Edison Project would help to reverse that trend.”

America has fallen to 17th in students 18-24 receiving degrees in math and science. Three decades ago the United States was ranked 3rd.

“We obviously have the potential to be a force in technological and medical fields,” added McKevitt. “We need to create not only opportunities, but a desire for students to pursue careers in these areas. It is admirable for them to take interest in more glamorous fields, such as fashion and entertainment. However, our nation’s interests need to lie in creating technology to compete, and maintaining a strong force of doctors and scientists.”

America was once viewed as the "promised land" for workers searching for science and technology employment. Lately, however, there has been a strong decline in foreign students searching for hi-tech jobs in America. In fact, many American students have been searching elsewhere, leaving the country for European and Asian nations which have emerged as centers for technology.

To encourage the pursuit of science based careers, the New Edison Project would create grants and loan forgiveness programs to ease the burden of students who would normally have high tuition costs to deal with when attending college for technology and medicine.

It would also bring the non-profit Project Lead the Way (PLTW) to 100 more high schools, and aims to use celebrities from sports, entertainment and hi-tech areas in an ad campaign to show students that it is “cool” to excel in science and math.

“We need to bring this plan to fruition in order to help the youngsters of New York,” said McKevitt. “They need guidance and opportunities to use their skills at the highest level. The New Edison Project would do exactly that.”