Obama Asks Kids for Ideas on Improving STEM Education

By Liana Loewus — May 20, 2016 1 min read
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At the White House’s 6th annual science fair last month, 9-year-old Jacob Leggette asked the president a question: “Do you have a child science advisor?”

The answer, of course, was no. “You should,” followed up Leggette, a budding engineer who showed Obama the bubble wands and other creations he’d made with a 3-D printer.

The president took the idea to heart and is now asking kids to submit their ideas on what they think is important in science, technology, engineering, and math education.

The White House launched a page on its blog yesterday where students can share their favorite things about STEM and pitch the president ideas on how to use science and technology to improve the country.

“Kids know firsthand what’s working inside and outside of their classrooms and how to better engage students in [STEM] fields,” says the announcement on the blog. “Whether you care about tackling climate change, finding a cure to cancer, using technology to help make people’s lives better, or getting a human to Mars, we can’t wait to get your input!”

Obama has been a champion for STEM education throughout his presidency. He has called for the recruitment of 100,000 new STEM teachers by 2021 and hosted maker fairs and astronomy nights, in addition to the science fairs, at the White House. His recent budget proposal included $4 billion for states and $100 million for districts to expand access to K-12 computer science.

Students can submit their ideas through the blog before June 18.

Image: Jacob Leggette, 9, of Baltimore, Md., who creates toys using a 3-D printer, watches as President Barack Obama blows a soap bubble using the boy’s 3-D printed bubble wand, while touring the 2016 White House Science Fair in April. —Jacquelyn Martin/AP-File

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.