Obama Administration Intensifies STEM Education Initiative To Make Kids Future-Proof

By Arvin Matthew, Parent Herald April 23, 04:00 am

The Obama administration is a firm believer of Whitney Houston's iconic line: "I believe that children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way." The White House announced on Thursday a slew of public and private education initiatives that would reinforce the teaching of science, technology, engineering and math in pre-school.

STEM Education Seen As Long-Term Investment

The government considers early STEM education as an integral cog in elevating the country's competency, not just now but also in the future. The White House and the Department of Education believe investing in early STEM education would better equip the youth as they face the many challenges of the 21st-century economy, as per CIO.

"When some think of it as an expense, we would argue it's not an expense," said Education Secretary John King Jr. during Thursday's White House STEM symposium. "It's an investment, a long-term investment that realizes savings in better long-term academic outcomes, better long-term health outcomes, better long-term success in the workforce."

The government's new education initiatives include the expansion of existing programs, improved research support and the implementation of new STEM-based apps and summer camps. Furthermore, the Department of Education's Institute for Education Science will be launching new grants that would examine how early science education can help children succeed, especially in low-income communities.

Kids Won't Have Difficulties With Curriculum Changes

White House education adviser Roberto J. Rodriguez shared to Education Week that early STEM education will do wonders for the country's standing in both math and science. He said the new curriculum won't be a drastic change for kids because they are already natural-born explorers and scientists.

"Our children are born curious," Rodriguez told reporters during the White House STEM symposium. "They are active learners. It's really up to us to set a strong foundation for our children, to expose them early to STEM learning across the settings in which they spend time."

New STEM Series To Air On PBS Kids

Private groups have also shown their support for the government's new education plan. The Heising-Simons Foundation will be partnering with The Fred Rogers Company to produce 25 episodes of math-centered PBS show "Odd Squad," and its accompanying games and apps. Meanwhile, The Jim Henson Company will be launching a new marine biology PBS series called "Splash and Bubbles."

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