Over the course of his presidency, Barack Obama has made clear his dedication to STEM education among young Americans. The commander-in-chief is now proving just how much faith he has in the innovative minds of America’s posterity by forming a new advisory committee comprised of young people. Called the “Kids Science Advisors,” the purpose of the new committee is to encourage young scientists to share ideas about the future of science. From climate change to cancer, to cars that drive themselves, no topic is off the table, because when you’re looking for fresh perspective, you’ve gotta go straight to the source.
“Today, I can announce that we are launching a ‘Kid Science Advisors’ campaign for young scientists and innovators" https://t.co/2NID8NMaoD
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) May 19, 2016
Announced during a ceremony on Thursday, kids can already begin submitting their ideas on science and technology here. According to the White House, Obama was inspired to create the program after meeting with 9-year-old inventor Jacob Leggette, who has 3D-printed a vast array of objects (including a model of the White House). Legette suggested that the President employ a younger science advisor, and lo and behold, Obama agreed. After all, the White House noted, “Kids know first-hand what’s working inside and outside of their classrooms and how to better engage students in STEM fields.”
“Science is very important for the progress of our nation,” President Obama said during his speech at the ceremony. “Science, math, engineering is what is going to carry America’s spirit of innovation through the 21st century and beyond.”
The establishment of the new committee comes at a time when the U.S. lags notably behind other developed nations in terms of STEM education. In fact, the nation is ranked just 27th in math and science out of the 34 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. But hopefully, with initiatives like the Kids Science Advisors, the federal administration can find a way to spur a newfound passion for these subjects, and improve our national standings.
“One of the things I find so inspiring about these young thinkers is that they look at all these seemingly intractable problems as something that we can solve. There is a confidence when you are pursuing science,” Obama said at April’s science fair. “They don’t consider age a barrier. They don’t think, well, that’s just the way things are. They’re not afraid to try things and ask tough questions.” And that may just be what the United States needs to charge ahead.