In his State of the Union address last week, President Obama issued a call to better equip American graduates for the demands of a high-tech economy. Specifically, he called on the nation’s high schools to forge new partnerships with colleges and employers, and create classes that focus on science, technology, engineering, and math—the “STEM” subjects – calling them “the skills today’s employers are looking for to fill the jobs that are there right now and will be there in the future.”
Indeed, students with STEM skills are a driving force that keeps America competitive, creative, and innovative. As just one example—the most common educational background of CEO’s in the S&P 500 companies is not finance or business… but engineering. Whether it’s by unearthing new discoveries, inventing new technologies, or starting innovative companies—STEM-educated students are well-poised to make an enormous positive impact when they enter the workforce.
Earlier this month, at a White House ceremony where some of the nation’s top scientists and innovators were awarded the National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation, President Obama spoke about this tremendous potential of STEM-educated Americans to make a difference. He marveled at the honorees’ great range of extraordinary accomplishments, including new discoveries about the depths of space and our oceans, the invention of batteries that today help power everything from cell phones to cars, and the development of the LASIK eye surgery technique and other medical innovations that have improved countless lives.
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