From The Huffington Post: Dennis Bartels, Executive Director of the San Francisco Exploratorium, writes an opinion piece on the need for participatory and inquiry-based STEM learning in an unpredictable economic climate: “’m often asked whether I believe the answer to our current economic slump is a renewed focus on STEM education. My honest answer is that, while I believe that STEM may result in more engineers, programmers and scientists, its true benefit will be that it will make us a stronger, smarter, more productive society — if such learning is participatory and inquiry-based. A great society is founded not on quick answers but on hard questions. The sort of STEM learning I advocate inspires a deeper level of thinking and learning that can be applied to a wide range of industries, professions, and fields. The spirit of critical thinking and independent reasoning that comes from personal inquiry results in stronger, more imaginative industries, which leads to a healthier economy.”