Discussion Questions for the Science Education Advisory Board

1. We are exploring several of the following variables as important to prediction of completion of STEM majors:

Student interests

Teacher quality

Peer stimulation

Mentorships/apprenticeships

College guidance

Home environment

Psychosocial strength (persistence, motivation)

What Did We Leave Out?

2. We’re likely to find that many participants of specialized high schools will not go into STEM majors in college. Is that OK from the perspective of policymaker and public support for specialized education? Is there a threshold of tolerance for this likely outcome of not majoring in STEM?

3. Is there a modern-day equivalent of the Sputnik argument as a compelling reason for young people to go into STEM and for the policy world to support talent development?

4. One barrier in our populist society is the concept of “elite education”: How can we (or should we) influence the education world, the policy world, and the general public that elite education for the STEM talented is acceptable and even essential?

5. In your estimation, do students who major in behavior sciences (studies of human behavior such as motivation, fear, or compliance) fit into the concept of STEM disciplines?

6. From the standpoint of your own work, how does the study of young STEM talent fit in?

7. What groups in your worlds might be interested in the results of this study? Are there nonacademic audiences where we should present our research?

Drs. Augustine, Sullivan and Bozeman’s responses led to further revisions of the instrument as well as ideas for how to frame some of the articles that will evolve from the study