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Obama Backing 'STEM' Education

'Educate to Innovate' Involves Corporations, Philanthropies

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The Obama administration is attempting to marshal private-sector power in a campaign to encourage students to take a stronger interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or “STEM” studies and careers.

Corporations, foundations, and other organizations have committed $260 million in financial and in-kind support for the effort, called “Educate to Innovate,” which will play out on several fronts.

Time Warner Cable has committed $100 million over five years for a campaign to connect students to after-school activities. Discovery Communications will fund a five-year, $150 million campaign to create commercial-free programming and online math and science content. Sesame Street, with backing from PNC Bank, will make STEM themes the focus of a number of upcoming episodes, and promote science and math for young students in other ways.

And science and engineering societies, with philanthropic backing, will promote hands-on and project-based learning. Finally, corporate and technology partners are launching a set of competitions to design free, STEM-focused videogames for children.

The White House has asked Sally Ride, the first female astronaut, and corporate leaders to build support for STEM at the state and local level.

Vol. 29, Issue 13, Page 4

Published in Print: December 2, 2009, as Obama Backing 'STEM' Education
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