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President Obama has launched an “Educate to Innovate” campaign to improve the participation and performance of America’s students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). This campaign will include efforts not only from the Federal Government but also from leading companies, foundations, non-profits, and science and engineering societies to work with young people across America to excel in science and math.
As part of the campaign, this Administration hopes to do a series of events, announcements and other activities that build upon the President’s “call to action” and address the key components of national priority.
Why This is Important
We have many great schools, excellent teachers, and successful students in America. But there are also troubling signs that, overall, our students should be doing better in math and science.
- In the 2006 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) comparison, American students ranked 21st out of 30 in science literacy among students from developed countries, and 25th out of 30 in math literacy.
- On the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) math tests, 4th graders showed no signs of progress for the first time in many years, and 8th graders tallied only modest evidence of progress. We are not advancing as we must.
What We Must Do
Through “Educate to Innovate” and other efforts, we must:
- Increase STEM literacy so that all students can learn deeply and think critically in science, math, engineering, and technology.
- Move American students from the middle of the pack to top in the next decade.
- Expand STEM education and career opportunities for underrepresented groups, including women and girls.
The First Steps
America is already stepping forward to meet these challenges. As part of the “Educate to Innovate” effort, five major public-private partnerships are harnessing the power of media, interactive games, hands-on learning, and community volunteers to reach millions of students over the next four years, inspiring them to be the next generation of inventors and innovators.
- Time-Warner Cable, Discovery Communications, Sesame Street, and other partners will get the message to kids and students about the wonder of invention and discovery.
- National Lab Day will help build communities of support around teachers across the country, culminating in a day of civic participation.
- National STEM design competitions will develop game options to engage kids in scientific inquiry and challenging designs.
- Five leading business and thought leaders (Sally Ride, Craig Barrett, Ursula Burns, Glen Britt, and Antonio Perez) will head an effort to increase private and philanthropic involvement in support of STEM teaching and learning.