Experts in science, technology, engineering and math are gathering in Dallas to come up with ways to attract more people to the fields they love.
For the next three days, teachers, business people, policymakers and others will come together at the U.S. News STEM Solutions: A Leadership Summit to figure out how to get society interested in science.
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"STEM is science, technology, engineering, math, but what it means is that kids aren't taking enough math and science and, as a result, they are not getting jobs," said Brian Kelly, of US News and World Report.
The news magazine is hosting the first-of-its-kind conference.
It's meant to not be a think tank, but rather a do-tank.
"Oh, absolutely, it is exciting," said Matthew Augustine, who runs BioDrill Technical Solutions.
Augustine is showcasing a machine his company created that turns organic waste into something useful. How it works can be understood by taking a high school biology class, he said. And that's the point -- skills that are often thought of as "pocket-protector issues" are actually pocketbook issues. They can create jobs and change economies.
"Well, if you take STEM skills out of society, you know, we have a very un-interesting place to live," he said. "When you look at the television, the iPhone, you name it -- STEM skills are what got us where we are today."
The summit takes place through Friday at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel.