From Giant Freakin Robot:
Republican Delegate Ray Canterbury, of Greenbrier County, West Virginia, has [introduced a bill in the state legislature that would require] “grade-appropriate science fiction literature” be added to the state’s middle-school and high-school curriculum. He’s actually introduced the proposal once before, but he’s resurrecting the bill again in hopes it will either pass outright or at least convince the Board to consider the merits of adding science fiction to schools.
Canterbury is a lifelong science fiction fan, but his reasoning for wanting it introduced to the school system is tied to a problem that’s facing our nation as a whole: namely, that we’re falling behind in the fields of math and science. Many modern scientists cite influences such as Star Trek as inspiring them to pursue a career in the sciences, and Canterbury believes that can happen again if kids are exposed to science fiction early on.
Canterbury told Blastr:
In Southern West Virginia, there’s a bit of a Calvinistic attitude toward life—this is how things are and they’ll never be any different. One of the things about science fiction is that it gives you this perspective that as long as you have an imagination and it’s grounded in some sort of practical knowledge, you can do anything you wanted to. So it serves as a kind of antidote to that fatalistic kind of thinking.
Link to the rest at Giant Freakin Robot