Message from COO – Why Physics?
As a Physics professor at University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS), director of the Center for Advanced Technologies & Optical Materials, I have the privilege of working with a variety of students, academics, and technological professionals from varying backgrounds. This experience has allowed me to play an active role in the research and development of future technological trends, and to understand what skills and knowledge are required from the students and new professionals in order to be strongly competitive in the technological workforce.
The jobs and demands of the future will be dictated by the biggest problems that the world will face: energy, health, food supply, and water accessibility. No matter whether the technology or solution exists today or must be developed, the skills that will be in most demand in the United States and the world will be connected to finding best solutions to the above problems. Scientists and Engineers will be addressing a lot of these problems.
Unfortunately, there is a common trend in the United States and Colorado region: there are not enough Science & Engineering (S&E) professionals to sustain the level of innovation that our industries demand today and in the future. Only 16 percent of undergraduate students choose science and engineering as a major. And studies show that of those, less than 40 percent of college students majoring in science, technology, engineering or math actually finish the degree. Pursuing S&E careers has been normally associated with the highly demanding and “hard” study of such subjects as Mathematics, Physics, Computer Programming, Chemistry, Biology and many other subjects.
Are these subjects hard? No…they are just introduced to many students in the United States too late! Middle school is the key.
As part of the See The Change USA team, I am extremely excited about helping our future generations start learning the amazing world of Physics in middle school.
Why? Physics is the science that leads to all other sciences. Understanding key areas of physics (Mechanics, Material Structure, Electricity and Magnetism, Optics, Nuclear & Anatomic Physics, and Modern Physics) allows the deepest understanding of how the world around us works, and develops a foundation for strong analytical and research skills. Many amazing initiatives have been launched to spark curiosity and excitement about science. Studying physics turns excitement into real knowledge and ensures there are enough qualified graduates to fill in critical engineering positions: mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, and others. Connecting physics with computer programming, mathematics, chemistry, and biology completes the full package required to succeed in college and beyond.
I am humbled and honored to share this new era of American education with you!