Presidential Election

Obama Keeps Calling For Better STEM Students, So How's America Doing?

In his 2010, 2014 — and now 2016 — State of the Union addresses, Obama has called for more funding for science, technology, engineering and math.

Obama Keeps Calling For Better STEM Students, So How's America Doing?
Getty Images / Molly Riley

"... Offering every student the hands-on computer science and math classes that make them job-ready on day one ..." President Obama said in his final State of the Union address. 

President Obama pushing for stronger STEM students during his State of the Union address isn't new. 

"... reform that raises student achievement; inspires students to excel in math and science ..." said President Obama during his 2010 State of the Union address. 

"... problem solving, critical thinking, science, technology, engineering and math ..." said President Obama during his 2014 State of the Union address. 

It's popped up in some shape or form in all of the president's State of the Union addresses. But how are American students doing compared to their peers in STEM learning?

According to the Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, better but still not great. 

PISA is one of the largest international exams. Math and science PISA scores for American 15-year-olds put them in the middle of the pack compared to other countries. The U.K., Canada and South Korea, among others, all tested higher. 

And views of American STEM education are pretty low. According to a Pew survey, only 29 percent rated American's STEM education as above average or best in the world.

Actual scientists were even more critical. The American Association for the Advancement of Science found just 16 percent of its members said the same. 

This video includes images from Getty Images and music from Chris Zabriskie / CC BY 4.0