President Obama has big plans for education in the US, and is banking on the ability of well trained teachers to make a difference. He recently announced a 250 million dollar initiative to train science and math teachers. The goal is to have US students ranked at the top internationally in these topics within this decade. One hundred teachers received awards for excellence in teaching and mentoring.
The President stated in the awards ceremony that teacher quality is the number one influence upon the performance of students in the four subject areas of science, technology, engineering and math, collectively referred to as the ‘STEM’ subjects. The current trend is a decline in the number of STEM subject area teachers, and the “Educate to Innovate” campaign will help reverse this trend by training more than 100,000 teachers and preparing 10,000 new educators over the next five years. Both public and private investments will be necessary to carry out the goals. Intel Corporation is but one of many entities expected to give support.
The President also challenged the 200,000 scientists employed by the Federal government to take concrete steps toward the goal by increasing young students’ interest in science through speaking engagements and hands-on projects all across our nation’s elementary, middle and high schools. The President also announced the White House would be doing its part to participate in the goals with its own Science Fair honoring winners of national student technology and science competitions.