President Obama announces $240 million in STEM funding at White House Science Fair
President Barack Obama used the spotlight of the 5th annual White House Science Fair to announce $240 million in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) funding that will come from private businesses, foundations and schools.
Calling the National Science Fair “the most fun event of the year,” the President praised the sophistication of the projects presented from scientists as young as Kindergarten. He emphasized the need for society to keep pushing STEM initiatives, through vocal and financial support and said that this generation of students will “define the contours of the 21st Century” through their advancements.
It’s no secret that President Obama is a big proponent of STEM learning and initiatives. Since the start of his first term, he has pushed for higher accountability in schools where these subjects are concerned and has also looked for ways to funnel funding towards them. Schools with strong STEM programs, for example, see more Race to the Top funding. Keeping up with other countries when it comes to STEM initiatives is a priority for the President and he sees the long term economic value in encouraging students today.
I’m interested to hear more about the specifics of this funding, though. What programs will it specifically fund? Will some of it go to scholarships? We know that young women tend to lose interest in STEM learning around middle school age. Will some of this funding address this growing concern? Computer coding is also an area that is rapidly advancing in demand. How will these funds help bridge that gap?
Where would you like to see some of this $240 million in STEM funding applied?