President Obama's "Education to Innovate" Initiative

President Obama's "Education to Innovate" Initiative

On Monday, President Obama was joined by NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden, former astronaut Sally Ride, and other science and engineering luminaries for the announcement of a new “Education to Innovate” initiative. In his remarks, the President joked about an upcoming demonstration by students from Oakton High School in Vienna, VA of the “Cougar Cannon” designed to “scoop up and toss moon rocks.”

“I am eager to see what they do – for two reasons. As President, I believe that robotics can inspire young people to pursue science and engineering. And I also want to keep an eye on those robots, in case they try anything, (Laughter.)”

In a more serious vein, he stressed the importance of science and math education.

“The key to meeting these challenges — to improving our health and well-being, to harnessing clean energy, to protecting our security, and succeeding in the global economy — will be reaffirming and strengthening America’s role as the world’s engine of scientific discovery and technological innovation. And that leadership tomorrow depends on how we educate our students today, especially in those fields that hold the promise of producing future innovations and innovators. And that’s why education in math and science is so important.


“This is a difficult time in our country, and it would be easy to grow cynical and wonder if America’s best days are behind us — especially at a time of economic uncertainty, especially when we’ve seen so many, from Wall Street to Washington, fail to take responsibility for so long. But I believe we have an opportunity now to move beyond the failures of the recent past and to recapture that spirit of American innovation and optimism.

“This nation wasn’t built on greed. It wasn’t built on reckless risk. It wasn’t built on short-term gains and short-sighted policies. It was forged on stronger stuff, by bold men and women who dared to invent something new or improve something old — who took big chances on big ideas, who believed that in America all things are possible. That’s our history. And, if we remain fixed on the work ahead, if we build on the progress we’ve made today, this is going to be our legacy as well.”

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