Gaze up into the dark velvet blanket of sky that is decorated with an arrangement of shimmering diamonds. What appears before you is just the front door to the rest of an entire unknown universe. The possibilities of life, other worldly knowledge and further innovation is knocking and waiting for someone to open it. Although this other world of possibilities is accessible, the door is still locked. The key lies in the minds of our future generation, and to obtain that key, we would need to support education.
It definitely makes sense to be a proponent of education. Not only does it inspire the imagination of billions of individuals, but it ignites new conversations, propels our progress as the human race forward, and it helps us create new opportunities ourselves and the ways in which we live. However, when we neglect our education system, we are in return neglecting all of those inspiring and innovative creations.
According to the world education rankings from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the 2009 OECD PISA data, the U.S. ranks fourteenth out of the thirty-four participating OECD countries for reading, twenty-fifth for math, and seventeenth for the sciences. The U.S. has seen a decline in education since the last study in 2006 and, according to Education Week, “after ranking 7th in 2011, the U.S. is ranked 10th in this year’s Global Innovation Index.” We may have created taco shells made out of Doritos, but we we’re slowly slipping in education, and our country is suffering because of it.
The artificial heart, green biodegradable lubricants, rescue tools, firefighting infrared cameras, life-saving light which helps young children suffering from brain tumors, home and automotive insulation, prosthesis material, land mine removal devices, and video stabilization software all come from the innovative minds of NASA. Without funding their research, these things most likely wouldn’t exist. Remember the Mars rover mission’s ‘Mohawk Guy’ who inspired Obama, and was the flight director on the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity mission? That is the result of hard work and funding for research and education.
The environmental issues, such as finding energy efficient and green power, can be improved upon with innovative ideas, as well as health care, and our daily way of life. Coupled with the incredible power of education in the arts, we can initiate important discussions and start asking the questions which need to be answered, in order to tackle our social and political issues. In order to do this we must prioritize our responsibilities and consider investing more of our resources in to education. It is in our school system and with the younger generation where our future lies, and recognizing this fact can only better our entire society.