Education secretary to speak on increasing science, tech, engineering and math education

U.S. Secretary of State Arne Duncan will make a speech about the need for more teachers in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, at the Google offices in Washington, D.C., at 9 a.m. Feb. 21.

Duncan will also discuss the Obama administration’s plan for an $80 million competition to support innovative methods to train new STEM teachers.

Part of the Obama administration’s 2013 budget plan is to add a $5 billion program that will challenge states to reform the STEM field of teaching.

The University of Illinois does not place more focus on educating teachers in STEM than in educating teachers in English or social studies.

Susan Noffke, associate professor in curriculum and instruction at the College of Education, said the college does not choose to focus more on english and history than STEM, but they have to offer more sections in English and social studies because students want to teach those subjects.

Noffke said more students apply to the college to focus on teaching English and social studies than students who apply looking to become math teachers, and even fewer students apply to the science section of the COE.