The Sciences

Is Our Children Learning? (maybe not)

The IntersectionBy Sheril KirshenbaumApr 14, 2008 4:54 PM

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I spent much of Sunday examining the education system in this country and came across NSF's Science and Engineering Indicators 2008 report. Most alarming is the scientific literacy section based on data from the University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center. Moreover, if the examination methods were reasonable, I'm extremely troubled by the ladies' overall performance. Therefore, I plan to spend this week exploring the disparity that leaves me speechless. So kicking off Monday, let's it started... Correct answers to scientific literacy questions, by sex: 2006 (by percent) The center of the Earth is very hot. (True) Male 85 Female 75 Electrons are smaller than atoms. (True) Male 61 Female 48 How long does it take for the Earth to go around the Sun? (One year) Male 66 Female 46* * yes [sigh], over half of female respondents answered incorrectly With more women earning bachelor's and master's degrees in the biological and agricultural sciences than men these days, do readers chalk up the gender difference to a time lag or what?

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