With an aim to encourage American children to get more involved in science and technology, US President Barack Obama has launched a first-of-its-kind campaign seeking innovative ideas from young bright minds of the country.
“Today… we are launching a ‘Kid Science Advisors’ campaign for young scientists and innovators to send in their suggestions for what we should be doing to support science and technology, and inspire the next generation of scientists and innovators,” Obama said yesterday at a White House event to present national medals in the field of science and technology to the country’s top 17 scientists and doctors.
Obama’s announcement is inspired by nine-year-old Jacob Leggette who at the White House Science Fair in April asked the President if he had any kid advisors.
“At this year’s Science Fair, one nine-year-old, named Jacob Leggette, turned the tables on me and suggested that we needed to start a kids’ advisory group so that young people can help us understand what’s interesting to them when it comes to STEM education, which I thought was a pretty good idea,” Obama said.
The White House has a Council of Advisors on Science and Technology – but it’s run by adults. Obama had mentioned this in his remarks at the White House Science Fair last month.
“So those young people out there who are listening, go to our website — we’re going to be looking for some advisors, some advice,” Obama said amidst laughter as he announced the launch of Kid Science Advisor.
“The real reason we do this, as I’ve said before, is to teach our young people that it’s not just the winner of the Super Bowl or the NCAA tournament that deserves a celebration; that we want the winners of science fairs, we want those who have invented the products and lifesaving medicines and are engineering our future to be celebrated as well,” Obama said.
“Because immersing young people in science, math, engineering — that’s what’s going to carry the American spirit of innovation through the 21st century and beyond,” he said.
Obama said his administration is engaging in a lot of science and tinkering here at the White House.
“We’ve got Astronomy Night. We got Hack-a-thons. We got Code-a-thons. We have Science Fairs, Maker Faires. It is fun. I love this stuff. I get to test out some of the cool stuff that ends up here in the White House,” he said.