How Children Of Immigrant Parents Made It As Top Science Students in America

By alexa ancheta, Parent Herald March 14, 11:21 pm

Research by the National Foundation for American Policy showed that most of the top-performing high school students in the United States are children of immigrants. The study found out that 33 out of 40 or 83 percent of the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search finalists were children of parents who migrated to the United States. The study concluded that the next generation of mathematicians, engineers and scientists could be Americans with foreign roots.

The science competition was renamed the Regeneron Science Talent Search, which was considered the Junior Nobel Prize. High school students competed in the Search. 

Study author Steve Anders said 75 percent of the Search finalists had parents who came to work in America with H-1B visas, according to Independent. These immigrants, who originated from countries like Japan, Singapore, China, South Korea, Iran, Cyprus and India, later became green card holders.

The study found that over 95 percent of the Search winners pursued science-related careers. No less than 70 percent of these science students with immigrant roots earned PhDs or MDs.

"Sixty percent (24 of 40) of the finalists of the 2004 Intel Science Talent Search had at least one immigrant parent. In 2011, that proportion rose to 70 percent (28 of 40) who had at least one immigrant," Anders said. "And in 2016, the number rose again to 83 percent (33 of 40) of the finalists of the Intel Science Talent Search who had at least one immigrant parent."

International students preferred the United states as an education destination since the middle of the 20th century, as per Migration Policy. These students were attracted to the quality of the American higher education system. They also considered the prospects of joining the labor market in America after graduation.

The Pew Research Center projected that over one-third of schoolchildren in the United States by 2050 will be immigrants or will have at least one immigrant parent, according to Harvard. Associate Professor Natasha Kumar Warikoo said schools should rethink strategies in the classroom to overcome the cultural divide and allow these students to thrive in the American educational system.

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