The president has announced a major initiative to get kids involved in science and math.
President Obama is reaching out to children across the country — and he’s looking for their ideas when it comes to science, technology, and engineering.
Obama is hoping that the Kid Science Advisors program will lead to a new crop of enterprising young scientists and innovators, according to a White House statement.
Obama said that rather than having children just being focused on being the next Super Bowl champion, they should also seek to win science fairs and create new products that could usher in a new future in medicine and science.
The president made the remarks during a ceremony honoring the winners of the National Medal of Science and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.
The United States is actually trailing many other countries when it comes to STEM, coming in at 27th for the recent Program for International Student Assessment ranking from 2012. That’s out of 34 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
A total of 26 percent of eighth graders in the United States were below proficiency levels in math in 2013. Many of them are African-American and Latino students.
Obama said the goal is to get more people interested in science, math, and engineering.
“These scientific laureates exemplify the American spirit and ingenuity that have enriched our society and the global community in profound and lasting ways,” President Barack Obama said in the statement. “Their ambition and accomplishments are an inspiration to the next generation pursuing careers in the essential fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.”
The statement adds: “The National Medal of Science was created by statute in 1959 and is administered for the White House by the National Science Foundation. Awarded annually, the Medal recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science and engineering. The President receives nominations from a committee of Presidential appointees based on their extraordinary knowledge in and contributions to chemistry, engineering, computing, mathematics, and the biological, behavioral/social, and physical sciences.”