Much effort is expended on informing young people about the wonders of science. Lab classes at school, hands-on museums, television shows, competitions and publications such as our own Science News for Students are designed to cultivate an appreciation for knowledge and to encourage students to pursue careers in science. I wholeheartedly endorse efforts to improve and expand STEM (short for science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education. I think science, and more specifically scientific thinking, is the most powerful tool for understanding the world. Everyone should learn how to think like a scientist.
Some doubts about the depths of U.S. support for STEM, however, began to creep into my mind while reading staff writer Beth Mole’s article about the acute effects of the government shutdown and sequester amid chronic underfunding of