This past April, President Barack Obama came face-to-face with the future of the great American geek. It was a 9-year-old inventor at the annual Science Fair at the White House who inspired him to invite American kids to share their youthful genius in the fields of science and technology.
The President, throughout his two terms in office, has been big fan of science and technology, prompting some to affectionately refer to him as the “Geek in Chief”. Taking obvious delight in the work of young innovators like the 9-year-old inventor mentioned above, Obama is determine to put their genius to work in the service of a better future.
Kids are being asked for their thoughts on what the government can do more to raise interest in the STEM disciplines. Young girls, especially, are under represented in the acronym’s four areas, which include science, tech, engineering and mathematics. The President knows that young people have special insight into the needs of their peers, so he’s asking them how the White House can do more to build the future of STEM. Innovation is the future of the US economy and the President is aware of how big a difference kids can make in bringing that truth forward.
Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, John Holdren is leading the charge on President Obama’s behalf. Recently he wrote a guest post for the White House blog, saying the White House “can’t wait” to get the input of young people. Citing solutions to climate change and the ongoing scourge of cancer, Holdren announced the initiative with enthusiasm. Like the President, Holdren is excited to hear what young people have to bring to the STEM table.
At the White House website, a form can be filled out by interested youth. No personal information is gathered. Simply, participants are asked to name their favorite aspects of one or all of the STEM disciplines. They’re then invited to “pitch the President” on an idea or invention they believe “could make (the USA) work better”, using innovation in science and tech of their own conception.
Holdren’s blog post also pointed out President Obama’s longstanding dedication to supporting youth engagement with technology and science. As the “Geek in Chief”, American youth with an interest in pursuing careers in STEM have a genuine friend in the President. According to Holden, Obama knows how important it is that young people lead us into the future. To make that happen, he knows that young people must be encouraged to find a career in STEM sectors.
The fact is, President Obama is deeply inspired by the work of young minds. He said as much in April, at the same White House Science Fair at which he met the 9-year-old who sparked the whole initiative. “They’re not afraid to try things and ask tough questions,” he pointed out.
If you’re a junior genius reading this, or know someone who is, check out the White House blog to find out how to get that innovative, original idea on President Obama’s desk.