The New York Times ran an article yesterday about the disaster emerging in South East Asia's most populous city: "Jakarta Is Sinking So Fast, It Could End Up Underwater." Scientists and engineers are concerned with both rising sea levels and the rate at which the city is sinking--in some places almost fourteen feet in only a couple of years! Experts point out that while the causes of these problems are many, all are the result of human factors.
This story reminded me of the importance of science and engineering education and why our Clemson Stem Pop-ups are so important in that they bring STEM to the average student. This past semester, our students had the opportunity to engage with experts on nuclear waste disposal, potable water infrastructure, and climate change. While the latter two topics directly connect with the Times article, all three directly impact our college, town, and state. We can scale things up to the global, or we can scale them back down to the local--what matters is that we talk about these issues now and start thinking about solutions that can benefit everyone.
Stephen Quigley is a PhD student in Clemson