If I were to give a lecture on the problems within education, I would elaborate on the following remarks:

Problems within our society arise when one is unable to accept the cultural differences of another, and these prejudices become instilled in us at a very young age. However, this issue may be mended if the American education system makes some changes.

The STEM world is growing. More and more people are choosing STEM majors as opposed to a humanities major, creating a divide between the two. Even though it seems as if they are two completely different worlds, I think the progression of the human race would reach a new speed if the two areas of study worked together. While many colleges, such as Colby, offer interdisciplinary majors and integrated studies, the concept of teaching multiple subjects as one is not a widely used technique. From my experience thus far, I’ve been able to make connections between all of the classes in which I’m currently enrolled, something that was never exposed to me in my many years of public school. In fact, I’d argue that I’ve learned more from realizing the overlap between my classes than I would’ve if the classes stood alone.

But the main issue comes into play outside of the classroom. By separating the STEM students from the humanities students inside the classroom, it also separates them into social groups. For example, if I’m enrolled in four STEM classes, I’m most likely going to be collaborating with the other STEM students in my free time, working on projects or studying the course materials, therefore isolating me from anyone who’s not in that field of study. While it may not be an intentional divide, it’s most definitely a divide present within many campuses in this nation. The lack of integration between science and humanities creates not only a lack of understanding of the bridges between the two studies, but it also causes an unnecessary categorization in a world that’s already full of putting people into boxes. Cultural differences have caused immense strife in both the past and the present, and in a world heavily focused on technology, this academic divide could soon cause just as much damage.

While I recognize that the world has many problems that do not yield simple solutions, this is an issue that I think can be solved at least partially. First, I want to establish why the bridging of the science world and the humanities world would be a positive action. Studies have shown that learning an instrument can improve intelligence, as it strengthens memory and teaches the brain to multitask. This skill would certainly be helpful to a scientist even though it does not fall under the category of STEM. Challenging the brain to work in different ways can only be helpful, and it creates a more well rounded human race.

So what needs to change in order to make this happen? My first idea would be to implement this integration starting at a young age. Elementary schools should not create such a separation between the core subjects, and public schools should receive more funding to finance the materials necessary for showing students the connections between the different subjects. Additionally, I believe every student should begin learning a second language in an immersive program. Learning another language would teach students about other cultures and would create a large impact in the way we relate to non-English speakers, thus breaking the language barriers.

Teaching students from a young age not to discriminate against other people for their differences has been in practice for quite some time now, but including academic differences into the conversation would be vital to the success of our generation. In order to make significant leaps in our progress as a society, we must look at everything from multiple angles, and the humanities and STEM are equally important in doing so.