US & World

Secretary of Education honored for promoting the study of math and science

United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (left) speaks to high school students on Feb. 18, 2011 in Los Angeles.
United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (left) speaks to high school students on Feb. 18, 2011 in Los Angeles.
Adolfo Guzman-Lopez/KPCC

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At an awards dinner Thursday night, a university engineering group honored U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan for his work in getting more students to study math and science.

The president of the Cal State LA group, Friends of Engineering, Computer Science and Technology, says in the next three years the U.S. will need 40,000 new engineers in electrical, environmental, civil engineering and other related fields.
 
Experts say U.S. colleges might not be able to deliver because public school educators have not done enough to promote the study of science, technology, engineering and math.

The Cal State LA group selected Duncan for its President’s Award because of his efforts to inspire students to study those disciplines and help the United States remain competitive globally.
 
A lot remains to be done, though, the group’s president says, because women represent a large portion of incoming college freshmen and very few of them go on to get their degrees in science, technology, engineering or math.