Article originally appeared on Te-Co's Blog.
It’s no secret U.S. students lag behind in math and science courses compared to many countries in Eastern Asian and Europe. Studies show it’s not just children who struggle with the subject: Between 50-89 percent of Americans suffer from some sort of math anxiety, and only 45 percent of high school graduates in 2011 were prepared for college-level mathematics.
The gap in understanding mathematics isn’t new in America, but more initiatives to combat this gap are popping up. It started in 1986 when April became known as Mathematic Awareness Month to encourage the study and increase awareness of mathematics. “The application of mathematics is indispensable in such diverse fields as medicine, computer sciences, space exploration, the skilled trades, business, defense, and government,” then-President Ronald Reagan said. “To help encourage the study and utilization of mathematics, it is appropriate that all Americans be reminded of the importance of this basic branch of science to our daily lives.”
We know mathematics is vital—especially to us in the manufacturing industry. Without simple triangles and calculations we would not be able to design, program and machine the parts we sell. Being able to solve problems using algebra, geometry and trigonometry is at the core of our manufacturing processes. Utilizing mathematics is actually important to every aspect of our business. We us mathematics in selling, manufacturing, inspecting, and yes even counting the money made. But how can we expect to continue growing our manufacturing when students are struggling to meet these standards?
Well, even more change is happening. Curriculum restructuring in many states across the country is adapting and suiting the specific needs of students while adhering to regulated guidelines. They not only study math skills but the concepts behind them along with applying mathematical reasoning. Plus, there are a slew of online tutorials and resources to aid the learning process. We are tapping into new resources, challenging ourselves, and expanding our brainpower—much like we do every day at TE-CO.
Don’t fret, because U.S. manufacturing isn’t going anywhere. With many companies choosing to manufacture their products stateside, sales increasing, and manufacturing turning digital, the industry has been steadily rising. A new report from Georgetown University estimates there will be more than three million new manufacturing jobs available by 2018. Those are some good numbers to add up, right?
We think the scope and process of mathematics is changing along the technology it is computed on, and we can’t help but be excited for the future of the subject matter and the positive impact it will have on the industry, our jobs, and our company.
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