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Obama Kicks Off Massive Science Education Effort 801

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the need-a-new-space-race dept.
In a speech at the White House today, President Obama launched a new campaign, "Educate to Innovate," designed to get American students fired up about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The full text of the speech is also available on whitehouse.gov. "The new campaign builds on the President's Inaugural Address, which included a vow to put science 'in its rightful place.' One of those rightful places, of course, is the classroom. Yet too often our schools lack support for teachers or the other resources needed to convey the practical utility and remarkable beauty of science and engineering. As a result, students become overwhelmed in their classes and ultimately disengaged. They lose, and our nation loses too. The partnerships launched today aim to change that. They respond to a challenge made by the President in April, when he spoke at the annual meeting of the National Academy of Sciences and asked the nation's philanthropists, professional and educational societies, corporations, and individuals to collaborate and innovate with the goal of reinvigorating America's STEM educational enterprise. The partnerships announced today — dramatic commitments in the hundreds of millions of dollars, generated through novel collaborations and creative outreach activities — are just the first wave of commitments anticipated in response to his call."
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Obama Kicks Off Massive Science Education Effort

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  • Re:STEM... (Score:3, Informative)

    by h4rr4r (612664) on Monday November 23, 2009 @05:08PM (#30205986)

    We are going to join the Warsaw Pact?

    Because Nato is first world, Warsaw Pact second and everyone else third. Words have meaning, learn what they are before you use them.

  • Sounds good? (Score:1, Informative)

    by masshuu (1260516) on Monday November 23, 2009 @05:09PM (#30205990)

    just graduated from high school in June, and i was just about the only one in my math and science class that actually cared about the class.

    people these days just don't care about science. Most of the people i talked to wanted to go into the medical field, gaming field, or sports field, so while i didn't ask everyone in the school, i never met anyone who wanted to go to MIT or go work in a laboratory like in Los Alamos.

  • Re:Easier solution: (Score:5, Informative)

    by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Monday November 23, 2009 @05:09PM (#30205996) Journal

    It's true - when growing up I was among the more technically inclined kids and thus was slightly interested in computer sciences. While programming was fun I wasn't sure if its what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

    However, when I was old enough to start looking at the numbers, I realized it was a good field to get into. Little Post secondary required to land a high paying job.

    When scientific research reaches such a status, I'm sure the same thing will happen. A handful of people I know wish they could become theoretical physicists, but because the money isn't there, they go into Engineering.

  • Re:Naming? (Score:5, Informative)

    by SnarfQuest (469614) on Monday November 23, 2009 @05:17PM (#30206094)

    You mean, his anti-stem cell research policy where he shrunk the previous administrations budget of $0.00 to several millions. Is that the anti-stem cell research policy you are talking about? I guess you would have been much happier if he just kept the previous administrations spending level on this research.

  • by dreamt (14798) on Monday November 23, 2009 @05:35PM (#30206356)

    Yeah, after all, it was the DoE's fault that Kansas wanted to teach creationism - oh, wait, that was the Kansas board of education.

  • by Fallen Kell (165468) on Monday November 23, 2009 @05:45PM (#30206496)
    Unfortunately if that was done, we would see things like Evolution removed or taught next to Intelligent Design as though Intelligent Design was a leading scientific accepted theory.
  • by grasshoppa (657393) <skennedy&tpno-co,org> on Monday November 23, 2009 @05:50PM (#30206588) Homepage

    Math; central valley vs new england state. In a NE state, english is the dominent language and parents have a higher concern for education than the first generation illegals who use school as day care. Where algebra may be appropriate at 4th grade in a NE state, we're still working on personal hygiene for many students in the 6th grade out here.

    Not saying it's right or wrong, but the realities of the environment out here.

  • by QuoteMstr (55051) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Monday November 23, 2009 @06:21PM (#30207020)

    Wait --- let me get this straight: you're actually claiming that education is actually a political ploy to garner more support for the left? You're actually arguing that science education is a bad thing because it encourages parents to be lazy? Therefore we shouldn't teach kids, and that'll show them unions and pinko parents? Never mind that we're falling further and further behind other nations in science: the solution, on the planet you live on, is to teach less science.

    You're arguing that your partisan gain is more important than the success of the next generation, and that it's all right to doom them to ignorance if it helps the GOP.

    Get out of your chair, go sit in your hummer, and without leaving your garage, turn it on and listen to Mike Savage until you fall into a deep, permanent sleep. You are a monster and a sociopath. You have no place in society, and the rest of us would be better off without you.

  • by Etrias (1121031) on Monday November 23, 2009 @06:23PM (#30207046)
    I stop paying attention when I see a post littered with the following phrases:
    • Nanny State
    • Community Organizing or Organizer
    • group-think

    Spin that with your broad generalizations about the left and a hilariously old reference to Hillary Clinton's book just shows that you're hopelessly mired in ideological cliches with no objective reasoning whatsoever...something I might add is important when discussing science.

    I, on the other hand, am actually happy that government is actually paying attention to science and not making an enemy of it.

  • by Digital Autumn (664952) on Monday November 23, 2009 @06:38PM (#30207306)
    You sure about your numbers there? I for one have been one of the uninsured, both ineligible for government programs, and not an "illegal intruder." I know lots of people in the same boat, certainly enough to doubt that we round to zero.
  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday November 23, 2009 @06:40PM (#30207348) Journal

    The remaining ones are illegal intruders (non-citizens).

    I'm not sure whether to parse it as a badly worded way to say "illegal intruders (who are all non-citizens)", or whether you're implying that all non-citizens on U.S. soil are "illegal intruders".

    If the latter, I would like to remind you that e.g. non-citizen H1-B guys also pay taxes that support your socialized healthcare programs in full, same as all citizens, except that they aren't entitled to any benefits from those programs.

  • by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Monday November 23, 2009 @06:43PM (#30207388) Homepage Journal
    So then are you saying that the GOP response is to distort reality as far as possible?

    not sit back and watch as my Obama-money comes pouring in while watching Oprah

    Yep... and then distort it even further if you can get away with it?

    not the land of hand-outs for not trying

    Check. Now can the GOP continue on and show that they have no grasp on how the rest of the world funds education and operates their national budgets?

    In most of the world, they are passing us up because their lives depend on them doing well and getting a job to earn money. Without it, they starve.

    That is an excellent start. Can you drive home the distortion now by belittling people who didn't crawl out of the correct vagina and find themselves born into wealth?

    With more and more fallback in America, we slowly reduce the incentive to do anything. Ultimately, the government (via taxing the rich) will give me everything I ever want whether I try or not.

    Yeah, we see why the conservatives deserve to be in power now. They will ensure that only the rich and richer have money. If anyone else can't make enough money to improve their own situation, it must be only their own fault, period. Clearly the free market has solved all of our problems so brilliantly in the past 8 years, we want more of that.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 23, 2009 @07:00PM (#30207674)

    Nah, "Interstate Commerce" covers EVERYTHING now, haven't you heard? ;)

  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Monday November 23, 2009 @07:54PM (#30208312)

    Is it indoctrination to show a child that 2 + 2 =4?

    If not then teaching evolution is fine, if so we have a real problem.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 23, 2009 @08:03PM (#30208416)

    As a rest of the worldian, I'd like to say that that sad phenomenon is true everywhere but when I to some extent followed your elections, the fact that it's true in the US began to worry me more than the idiots that breed where I live. A scary future doesn't seem all that distant, if already now a woman for whom it was too difficult to answer what newspapers she reads or if man coexisted with dinosaurs, almost became vice president in the country with the by far most powerful military and nuclear arsenal in the world. Even though they surround me, the idiots where I live seem more bearable for me since they cannot cause as much harm as those who can vote in your elections.

  • by jcnnghm (538570) on Monday November 23, 2009 @08:21PM (#30208596)

    Why do catholic schools consistently outperform public schools on standardized science tests?

  • by jcnnghm (538570) on Monday November 23, 2009 @08:47PM (#30208838)

    I'm actually aware of that, having gone to a Catholic school. Just to expand on this a bit, in Catholic school they teach religion and science in two separate classes. They teach the creation story as a parable, and evolution and the big bang as facts. They also teach the history and beliefs of every major religion, not just Christianity, so you get a balanced view. Personally, I always liked Buddhism and Hinduism.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 23, 2009 @08:59PM (#30208944)

    Performance is better because they are exclusive. The below average test taker, the truant, the child with uninvolved parents need not apply. Restrict your audience to top tier students and of course performance will exceed that of a school who is forced to take everyone. There is absolutely no evidence that the teachers are better (how are they better). The fact that you continue to insist as such when there is no evidence to support it makes you look quite ignorant.

  • by moosesocks (264553) on Monday November 23, 2009 @09:08PM (#30208988) Homepage

    You could easily test that hypothesis by comparing educational outcomes in states with teachers unions to those without.

    In most cases, non-union states pay their teachers like sh*t, and educational outcomes are somewhat poorer.

    I'm not going to argue that unions are perfect in their current form -- they can and often do start to act in their own interests rather than those of their members. In other cases (ie. the autoworkers) unions can become too powerful, and force their parent industry out of business.

    However, there's plenty of evidence to show that teachers do have a legitimate need for protection. If the elderly taxpayers in my town had their way, teachers would be paid the same as the janitors (another pitfall of funding education at the local level).

    It's funny how each thread on this discussion points to a single (and different) hot-button political issue as the cause of our educational failings. Can we maybe agree that the problem isn't quite so simple?

  • by jcnnghm (538570) on Monday November 23, 2009 @10:53PM (#30209678)

    Then maybe the real issue is people using the school system to indoctrinate people. It's no secret that educators across America push liberal ideals. Just take a look at the list of Obama's top donors, http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?cycle=2008&cid=N00009638 [opensecrets.org]. It should be stopped all around.

  • by MyFirstNameIsPaul (1552283) <myfirstnameispaul@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @12:05AM (#30210022) Homepage Journal

    Unfortunately, that was not the intent of the authors of the 14th. It was meant to guarantee that freedmen would have the same rights as everyone else, e.g. to enter contracts, to sue, and to own property.

    The 14th was ratified in 1868 and only a few years later there was another amendment proposed, the Blaine Amendment, to apply the rights guaranteed in the first amendment to the states. Here is the text of the amendment:

    "No State shall make any law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; and no money raised by taxation in any State for the support of public schools, or derived from any public fund therefor, nor any public lands devoted thereto, shall ever be under the control of any religious sect; nor shall any money so raised or lands so devoted be divided between religious sects or denominations."

    The very fact that essentially the same people who wrote and ratified the fourteenth considered another amendment to make the states follow the same rules seems like fair enough evidence to reject the notion that it was meant to apply the first amendment to the states.

    A book that I strongly recommend to everyone is The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History by Thomas E. Woods. He has a very good section on the 14th amendment and provides strong evidence on why the 14th was never legally ratified.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @09:30AM (#30212776)

    But when little Johnny ... doesn't study [google.com] as much as others [koreatimes.co.kr], and I can go on and on.

    I'm not so sure about that point. From the linked article:

    According to OECD's Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2003, conducted on 15-year-old students around its member countries, Finnish students, who studied only 4 hours and 22 minutes during weekdays, only half of what Korean 15-year-olds do, scored higher than Korean students in mathematics.

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