Obama Looking For Science Advisors; Adults Need Not Apply

Obama is hiring some new science advisors, though they aren’t of the age you might expect for a scientist. The President wants to bring kids in on to advise the White House!

Obama Looking For Science Advisors; Adults Need Not Apply

Obama’s advisory campaign – A new generation of science

While attending the 6th Annual White House Science Fair in April, President Barack Obama met a young nine-year-old inventor. During this conversation, the young inventor, Jacob Leggete, suggested that President Obama should create a kid science advisory board. Obama immediately liked the idea, and said that we should “bring together a group of kids to share their thoughts on what they thing is important in science, technology, and innovation.”

On Thursday, President Obama announced a a new advisory campaign in the search for innovative ideas from the nation’s youth. “Today… We are launching a ‘Kid Science Advisors’ campaign for young scientists and innovators to send in their suggestions for what we should be doing to support science and technology, and inspire the next generation of scientists and innovators,” remarked the President.

The campaign seeks to invite scientifically-inclined youths to submit ideas about what they think can change the future of science, technology, and discovery in the world.

“Science is very important for the progress of our nation,” the Presidents said during his speech at an awards ceremony for national scientific achievement. “Science, math, engineering is what is going to carry America’s spirit of innovation through the 21st century and beyond.”

The new advisory outreach program will search for what issues are most important to the nation’s children and how to better engage kids studying science to aid in guiding future White House priority and policy.

“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,” said the President. “There is a confidence when you are pursuing science. 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.”

Maintaining focus

The child science-advisory committee could fit into the administrations set of goals in improving science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education in schools, including the elementary level.

“The real reason we do this, as I’ve said before, is to teach our young people that it’s not just the winner of the Super Bowl or the NCAA tournament that deserves a celebration; that we want the winners of fairs, we want those who have invented the products and lifesaving medicines and are engineering our future to be celebrated as well,” said President Obama.

Jo Handelsman, the associate director for science at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, has said in a past interview that the administration is searching for ways to more effectively engage ways on teaching STEM subjects so students stay interested.

Obama has pushed for increased STEM education throughout his presidency, calling for 100,000 new STEM teachers by 2021. Recent budget proposals have reflected a $4 billion budget for states and $100 million for school districts to expand access to STEM education.

Yesterday, the White House launched a page on its blog where young minds can share their favorite things about STEM education and pitch the President ideas on how to utilize technology to better the nation. Students can submit their ideas through the blog before June 18 here.

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