President Barack Obama is launching a version of “take your child to work day” that’s focused on America’s science laboratories instead of its corporate workspaces.
More than 50 national labs in 20 states are opening their doors this week to approximately 5,000 elementary, middle and high school students to help spark interest by exposing them to the scientists, engineers and lab employees who carry out important work and research at facilities in their communities.
“It’s an exciting time to think about how we’re pulling all the children of our country into technology and STEM and the jobs of the future,” Megan Smith, chief technology officer in the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.
At the White House on Monday, elementary school students from Baltimore and the District of Columbia are expected to participate in a science fair-type event.
“Whether it’s setting foot on the moon, developing a vaccine for polio, inventing the Internet or building the world’s strongest military, we’ve relied on innovative scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians to help us tackle the toughest challenges of our time,” he recently told Popular Science magazine. “Being pro-science is the only way we make sure that America continues to lead the world.”
“We want the next game-changing industry or life-saving breakthrough to happen right here in the United States,” he said.