Obama discusses innovation and STEM education
Christine Clifton-Thornton, senior writer for Research News, asked the President to write an article on STEM education. His response follows.
America’s drive to tinker, invent, and push the boundaries of what’s possible sets us apart—and we have a lot to show for it. Scientific advances, technological discoveries, and medical breakthroughs have helped us become the world’s strongest economic power and greatest source of hope. By investing in our youth and giving researchers the tools they need to innovate and discover, we can unlock new frontiers and stay on the forefront of progress in the years to come.
To help more students explore science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), my Administration launched a campaign called “Educate to Innovate.” Our goal is to move American students from the middle to the top of the pack in science and math achievement. So far, the Educate to Innovate campaign has resulted in more than $1 billion to fund programs that help kids succeed in STEM fields, and we are aiming to prepare 100,000 science and math teachers over the next decade.
My administration is supporting teachers, mentors, and students who are inspiring all members of the next generation—no matter what they look like or where they’re from—to dream big. We want to increase the diversity of students and professionals pursuing STEM careers because our nation is strengthened by women and people of color who are scientists, engineers, coders, and inventors. We also want to be sure America is a magnet for the world’s best talent in science and technology. That’s why I have taken executive action to make it easier for highly-skilled, foreign-born STEM graduates and entrepreneurs to stay in the United States and contribute to our economy.
Advances in STEM fields will lead us to a better tomorrow—a stronger economy, a healthier society, a cleaner energy future, and a more secure nation. My latest budget calls for an increase in funding for the research, development, and STEM education necessary to keep the United States on the cutting edge. As long as I hold this office, I will keep fighting for these priorities.
I am confident we can give our young people, scientists, innovators, and technologists the tools they need to think analytically, dream up solutions, and turn today’s bold ideas into tomorrow’s realities.
Barack H. Obama is the 44th President of the United States.