The White House is continuing to promote science and math in education with some extra help, mainly coming from Sesame Street characters, former astronaut Sally Ride, video game programmers, and other technological organizations.
The program, called Educate to Innovate, is supposed to bring awareness the importance of math and science in schools. There’s more about the campaign in the New York Times article here.
Though there were people who felt the promotion that went on wasn’t showing the real issue, the event did catch the attention of big companies, including Discovery, which plans on airing a two-hour block of programming on their Science Channel that focuses on science and airs when children come home from school. Game programmers want to create video games that deal with math, which I think is a great idea. There used to be a mix of educational games along with other fun ones when I was younger, but I don’t really see it too much anymore. Most games have to do with promoting a new animated movie of some sort or pretending to be in a rock band or be a model.
So while it doesn’t seem like much, it’s important to spread the word out there, even if it’s through big companies, because it catches people’s attention. The inclusion of games and having a block of programming for kids in the afternoon makes math and science not just a boring subject in school, but something fun. While I wish I had more math shows or cartoons that made it more fun for me, the science programs I watched in elementary school, like Bill Nye the Science Guy and the Magic School Bus, always made the subject interesting to me.
Also, I like what Obama said at the White House during a science fair that was being held there:
Scientists and engineers ought to stand side by side with athletes and entertainers as role models, and here at the White House, we’re going to lead by example. We’re going to show young people how cool science can be.
I agree, there aren’t really a lot of scientists and engineers that kids readily admire and what the White House is doing is great, I just hope they keep with it and don’t lose sight of it and it ends up on the back burner again.