The Importance of Science and Math Education

Lilly’s CEO, Dr. John Lechleiter, delivered a speech in June at the Detroit Economic Club about America’s growing innovation gap.  John cited a number of issues that require our attention if we are to maximize the innovative capacity of the American economy.  One critical issue he mentions is the importance of K-12 science and math education.

Unfortunately, by some measures, America’s students are falling behind in these subjects.  Last November, in an address entitled “Educate to Innovate,” President Obama cited an assessment that shows American 15-year-olds rank 21st in science and 25th in math when compared to their peers around the world.

Many agree that we must do better.  As John stated in his speech in Detroit, “what we need is not an intensive program to produce an elite cadre of brilliant scientists, but a common effort as a society to develop whole new generations of Americans with knowledge and skills in math and science … a large pool from which great scientists and breakthrough ideas will emerge.”

At Lilly, we are working to do our part.  For example, we have committed $1.5 million in our home state of Indiana for the implementation of inquiry-based learning in grades K-8.  Inquiry-based learning taps into children’s natural creativity and curiosity, allowing them to explore and problem solve while building knowledge and understanding of science concepts.  I will be providing updates on our work in future blog posts.

Related Posts:

1. Science and Math Education (With a Quiz Question)

2. Does the U.S. have high achieving math students