Learn about diversity at ASEE
ASEE would like to acknowledge the generous support of our premier corporate partners.


Lyle Feisel

Lessons From the Global Schoolhouse

The February Prism is a departure from our usual fare. The front of the issue is devoted to K-12 STEM education around the world. With the United States in need of well-trained engineers and scientists to develop the innovations of tomorrow, the quality of our K-12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education takes on growing importance. Currently, we’re in the middle of the international pack – not a good position in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.

Prism writers scouted the globe to find out what the United States might learn from other countries and came up with nine intriguing examples. Among them: In Finland, the stress is on teacher quality. All teachers have master’s degrees as well as subject majors, and only the top 10 percent of high school graduates can apply for these five-year programs. Finland spends less on education than most developed economies, yet its students excel on international assessments.

Brazil, moving rapidly from developing to developed status economically, now seems intent on having an education system to match its ambitions. With the help of a Duke University neurobiologist, it’s making a start. Its catalyst for educational change is hands-on science labs, initiated in a poor and underserved part of the country. An ocean away, South Africa uses texting to link volunteer tutors on PCs with confused math students on mobile phones.

Included in the package are two noteworthy U.S. programs:, a series of online K-12 lessons and activities developed at the University of Colorado, and technology/engineering learning standards that form a major component of the core science curriculum in Massachusetts schools.

Turn this magazine over, and you’ll find the preliminary program for ASEE’s 2011 Annual Conference and Exposition. Here you can read about the hundreds of sessions and events that will take place and also learn why the conference city, Vancouver, is such an exciting place to visit.

As a temporary cost-saving measure, our next edition of Prism will be a combined March and April issue.


Lyle Feisel
Interim Executive Director and Publisher




© Copyright 2011
American Society for Engineering Education
1818 N Street, N.W., Suite 600
Washington, DC 20036-2479
Telephone: (202) 331-3500