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President Obama Announces $240 Million For STEM Education

During the White House Science Fair on Monday, March 23, President Barack Obama announced more than $240 million worth of pledges to focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. The $240 million will come from private businesses, schools and foundations.

The pledges are intended to ramp up attention to STEM fields and generate interest across all walks of life. The White House Science Fair gives the campaign a boost.

"Obama said the new commitments have brought total financial and material support for these programs to $1 billion," reported The Associated Press. "The pledges the president announced include a $150 million philanthropic effort to encourage promising early-career scientists to stay on track and a $90 million campaign to expand STEM opportunities to underrepresented youth, such as minorities and girls." In addition, 120 universities and colleges have committed to train 20,000 engineers.

The fair's theme was focused on diversity as the president highlights private-sector efforts to encourage ore students from underrepresented groups to pursue education in STEM fields. In 2009, Obama launched "Educate to Innovate," another STEM education effort.

"More than 35 student teams showed their projects at the White House Science Fair, including exhibits on algae, spinal implants, keystroke security and a page turner made out of Legos," reported The Associated Press. "Obama said the fair is one of the most fun events held annually at the White House. 'Every year I walk out smarter than when I walked in,' Obama said."

 

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By Samantha DiMauro, Education World Contributor

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