AIP Asks Obama to Focus on STEM Education

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Publication date: 
5 June 2009

On May 27, the American Institute of Physics (AIP), four of its Member Societies, and 63 other scientific and education organizations signed a letter to President Barack Obama that noted his recent comments on basic and applied research and education at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), and urged the President to make additional federal investments in science education.

The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the American Physical Society (APS), AVS: Science and Technology of Materials, Interfaces, and Processing, and members of the STEM Education Coalition committed to work with the Obama Administration in support of robust science education policy.

As covered previously in FYI (FYI# 49) President Obama set an ambitious goal to devote more than three percent of the nation’s gross domestic product to research and development in his April 27 speech at NAS. Obama’s comments on science education received less notice.

The President announced “a renewed commitment to education in mathematics and science,” and called teacher quality “the most influential single factor in determining whether a student will succeed or fail in these subjects.” Obama pledged financial incentives for states that refocus on math and science education and teacher training. Obama also said that his fiscal year 2010 budget would triple the number of graduate fellowships available through the National Science Foundation (FYI# 65).

The text of the letter to President Obama can be read here.

More information about the STEM Education Coalition can be found here.