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In the 2011-12 school year, the average elementary class and teacher responsible for teaching all core subjects spent 2.6 hours per week on science education. By comparison, in the 2007-08 school year, the average elementary class spent 2.3 hours per week on science education.
Source: U.S. Department of Education, Schools and Staffing Survey, 2011-2012
Gender stereotypes take root early. According to a study in the journal Child Development, girls' and boys' attitudes about math begin to diverge as early as second grade. The researchers studied 247 children in Seattle-area grade schools: "Boys associated math with their own gender while girls associated math with boys. In the self-concept test, boys identified themselves with math more than girls did."
Source: Cvencek, D., Meltzoff, A. N. and Greenwald, A. G. (2011), "Math–Gender Stereotypes in Elementary School Children." Child Development, 82: 766–779.
Thirty percent of Americans say they would rather clean the bathroom than solve a math problem. That finding could reflect the fact that many Americans experience math as a series of abstract or artificial "problems" disconnected from real-world problems that have a profound bearing on their lives. Math is critical to the future of the nation and everyone in it. We have to address the enthusiasm gap.