“Often we don’t give these victories the attention that they deserve,” President Obama said as he highlighted some of the accomplishments of science fair winners from across the country at the first White House Science Fair on October 18.
The science fair included dozens of high school science fair winners and science celebrity appearances of Secretary of Energy Steven Chu; Director of the National Science Foundation Subra Suresh; Bill Nye, “The Science Guy”; and MythBusters Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage. The president even joked about a special guest appearance he recently filmed for an episode of MythBusters, which will air on the Discovery Channel on December 8.
During his address, the president made the case for improving science and mathematics instruction, remarking on scientific exploration of students that “It’s in these pursuits that talents are discovered and passions are lit, and the future scientists, engineers, inventors, entrepreneurs are born. That’s what’s going to help ensure that we succeed in the next century.”
Reiterating the goal of moving from the middle to the top in science and mathematics in the next decade (on international assessments), Obama also highlighted some of the initiatives he is hoping will help reach that goal. Race to the Top, Change the Equation, and the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) campaign “Renaissance of Wonder” were a few of the initiatives he highlighted.
The theme of the day was advancing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) initiatives and education, finding ways to make connections and inspire students, and celebrating those students who are striving for excellence and advances in science today.
Click here to view the president’s full address.