No-one in the space community would deny the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) education to the younger generation and the populace as a whole. But agreement does not always result in action. Bob Griesmer recognises the shortfalls and describes a US home-grown solution.
I remember the magic of that night sky in 1957. The grass soaked my back as I peered upward in search of that moving, beeping beacon. The sky was crystal clear, the Milky Way unpolluted by city lights. Sputnik would kick off a decade-long race to the Moon. Ten years; why so long? That was a lifetime for this ten year old.
The capsules that followed - the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo - were my generation’s ‘covered wagons of the new frontier’ that John Kennedy held out as a promise. This was our manifest destiny. We who thought, even at a young age, that there were no mountains we could not climb, no alien planets we could not conquer, would come to consider science as a calling in our brave new world.