At a White House event on September 16th, President Obama endorsed the role of science centers and museums in helping today’s youth excel in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). A formal White House announcement on this topic specifically applauded the ASTC-led Youth Inspired Challenge, a major new initiative designed to expand the impact of science centers and museums to assist the nation’s youth to become the innovative and creative thinkers needed for the 21st century workforce. Inspired by President Barack Obama’s goal of strengthening the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) knowledge of America’s students, the Challenge—extended to more than 300 science centers in all 50 states—sets a three-year goal to engage thousands of youth, ages 10–19, in 2 million hours of science enrichment.
Expressing his support for the Youth Inspired Challenge, President Obama said, “Our success as a nation depends on strengthening America’s role as the world’s engine of discovery and innovation. I applaud the Association of Science-Technology Centers and its members for lending their resources, expertise, and their enthusiasm to the task of strengthening America’s leadership in the 21st century by improving education in science, technology, engineering and math.”
ASTC and its member institutions are well positioned to support the President’s goals. “It is an opportunity tragically missed if we fail to spark the interests of our young people in all that science has to offer,” states ASTC chief executive officer Anthony “Bud” Rock. “For this reason, science centers and museums located in communities throughout the country are providing unique educational programs that excite, energize, and enrich our understanding of science and its many applications. Our challenge is to provide more of these enriching opportunities to more students in more communities across America. Inspiration is not restricted to the youth who benefit from these learning opportunities, but also to the many people who work to ensure the continued successes of our science centers and museums everywhere.”
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