In his final State of the Union address, President Obama has once again brought STEM education and its critical role in our country’s vitality to the fore of our national consciousness. The President challenged us to answer the question, “how do we reignite that spirit of innovation to meet our biggest challenges?” and we believe that STEM education is at the heart of the answer. He noted “that real opportunity requires every American to get the education and training they need to land a good-paying job,” and called for continued progress in education, “by offering every student the hands-on computer science and math classes that make them job-ready on day one.” In shining a spotlight on these critical STEM issues, the President has reinforced Change the Equation’s belief that every young person needs strong STEM skills in order to be successful in the changing economy.
Change the Equation’s STEMworks honor roll of high-quality STEM programs is doing just that, by giving young people a bright future that fulfills the promise of the American Dream. CTEq’s corporate members have chosen to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to support the programs in STEMworks to ensure that young people are introduced to positive experiences in STEM early on.
We applaud the President’s ongoing and vocal commitment to STEM initiatives. Since Change the Equation launched in 2010, answering President Obama’s call for the business community to deepen its commitment to STEM education, the Administration has continually lent its voice to spotlight the incredible accomplishments of Corporate America in STEM learning. From the hosting of the White House Science Fair to supporting the Next Generation of learning, both in- and out-of-school, the President has been a stanch ally to efforts around STEM learning.
The President’s bully pulpit has helped empower Change the Equation to advance our goal of every young person in America being STEM literate. Toward that end, in 2016, our coalition of business leaders will give 800,000 additional young Americans the opportunity to participate in high quality programs and interact with STEM professionals at their companies. We look forward to working with the new Administration, as well, to champion STEM for all of our nation’s young people, and nurturing the “spirit of discovery” that President Obama lauded.