It is commonly known that on July 20, 1969, the astronaut Neil Armstrong added his own personal touch to the moon - literally. Millions watched in suppressed excitement as, for the first time, man took a step onto the moon. While this monumental achievement can be attributed to the ingenuity of American scientists and astronauts, the real fueling factor behind the so-called "Space Race" was the competition between the Soviet Union and the United States. For America, this not only opened up a new world in the form of space exploration, but also boosted math and science education in schools to newfound levels. Just decades ago, competition was seen as being beneficial to society, but currently that view has entirely changed. Once having one of the most cutting-edge curriculums in the world, US has now dropped to below average levels, a plunge that is unmatched by any country so far (Barshay). Although the economy has not reached that critical state yet, it has been continuously declining and future generations will not be able to sustain the same level of sophistication and productivity if they cannot embrace the competitive nature of the global market itself (Holodny). In order for the United States to return to its former level of prosperity, it is necessary to realize that competition is a beneficial method of preparing a person for the future, and pushing their abilities to a new extent and to reintroduce it into educational systems.
In the words of former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, ".School may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not" (Sena). Presently, with the fear of mounting academic pressure in schools, children are striving for "just good enough" rather than pushing themselves to their full capability (Sena). Teachers have become afraid that challenging material in classes may be leaving some students behind and further discouraging them to learn.