Supporting STEM Students From the White House

Retired astronaut Cady Coleman talks with Team America Rocketry Challenge’s Team Rock-It of North Carolina that displayed their work at this week’s White House Science Fair. Image courtesy of @nasahqphoto.

“Don’t be too hard on yourself, and don’t give up on your dreams.”

That was the advice given by one of the panelists at yesterday’s White House Science Fair, who, at the ripe old age of eight, is already encouraging young people, and perhaps even some a little older, to try and achieve their goals.

The 2016 White House Science Fair will be President Obama’s last, as the United States is transitioning administrations soon. While it may be his final fair, we hope it is not the country’s. Programs like this should be seen as nonpartisan, and be continued under future administrations. While policy is up for debate, supporting the next generation’s future should be a given.

Students at the fair presented practical solutions to real problems using their knowledge of STEM, from a way to clean up the NYC subway to charging batteries with water power. Their ingenuity and curiosity benefits all of us today and provides a solid workforce for the nation’s economic future.

Students who receive encouragement and support are more likely to push themselves to achieve more. One of the other panelists, now in college, said that her recommendation to younger students was to take advantage of every opportunity given to them. As a community and as a country, we need to make sure those opportunities are there for them to take in.

Bright minds are not in short supply here in America. We encourage the next administration to continue events and opportunities like the White House Science Fair to ensure that those minds can be cultivated.

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