TechWeb

Tech Experts Sought For STEM Events

Apr 29, 2010 (06:04 AM EDT)

Read the Original Article at http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=224700197


The Obama administration is urging technology experts to participate in the upcoming National Labs Day to make American students more competitive in math and science.

National Science Foundation (NSF) Director Arden Bement recently sent a letter to engineers and scientists supported by the NSF asking them to participate in the events on May 12, according to a White House blog post.

In the letter, Bement provided examples of how they can help, as well as underscored the importance of experts in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields to contribute to the education of American children.

"It is a wonderful opportunity for all of us in the wider NSF community, no matter what our background, education or skills, to make a difference in science, math or engineering education," he said.

Bement said that through their participation, NSF grantees may also build relationships that allow them to show how their work more broadly impacts society.

National Labs Day is part of President Obama's "Educate to Innovate" campaign, a partnership between the federal government and private sector aimed at increasing the competitiveness of American students in science and math.

It aims to support STEM education in American schools by bringing "hands-on, discovery-based lab experiences" to students, according to the post.

Currently, American students are about average globally in math and science, but the administration wants them to take the lead in 10 years.

Reaching this goal also is part of a government-wide effort to foster technology innovation in general to help the country be more competitive overseas.

Teachers may register on the National Lab Day Web site to request funding or describe a project they would like to do in collaboration with STEM professionals.

Scientists, engineers and others may volunteer to help in such activities as upgrading lab equipment, assisting with hands-on projects, mentoring students or hosting field trips, according to the post.