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Obama, Wowed By Young Scientists, Announces New STEM Pledges


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President Barack Obama speaks in the East Room of the White House during the 2015 White House Science Fair.

President Barack Obama on Monday announced more than $240 million in pledges to boost the study of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Credit: Susan Walsh/AP

U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday announced more than $240 million in pledges to boost the study of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

The pledges 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. In total, the new STEM commitments have brought total financial and material support for these programs to $1 billion.

In addition, more than 100 colleges and universities have committed to training 20,000 engineers, and a group of CEOs has pledged to expand high-quality STEM educational programs to an additional 1.5 million students in 2015.

Obama has emphasized STEM education since the beginning of his presidency, when he launched Educate to Innovate, an effort to encourage STEM studies, in 2009.

Obama made the announcement at a science fair event at the White House, during which 35 young winners came to showcase a range of breakthroughs.

"It's not enough for our country just to be proud of you," Obama told the students. "We've got to support you."

He said the science fair was one of the White House's most fun annual events. "Every year I walk out smarter than when I walked in," Obama said.

From The Associated Press
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