The world is caught up in a paroxysm of change. Key words: globalism, multinational corporations, ethical influences in business, explosive growth of science-based technology, fundamentalism, religion and science, junk science, alternative medicines, rich vs. poor gap, who supports research, where is it done, how is it used, advances in cognition science, global warming, the disconnect between high school and college....these and other influences are undergoing drastic changes and all will have some impact on science, mathematics and technology and therefore on how our schools must change to produce graduates who can function in the 21st century...function and assume positions of leadership. Is it conceivable that the standard curriculum in science and math, crafted in 1893, will still be maintained in the 26,000 high schools of this great nation?
This is a question that obsesses me in my daily activities. I have been agonizing over it along with a few colleagues around Fermilab, University of California, and the students, staff and trustees of the Illinois Math Science Academy (IMSI), a three year public residential high school for gifted students, I was involved in founding some 16 years ago.