“Become a teacher. Your country needs you.” – Barack Obama 1/25/11

January 29, 2011

As President Obama gave his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, January 25, one thing was clear – STEM education was high on his list. As Amy Chyao of Richardson, Texas, Brandon Ford of Philadelphia, Mikayla Nelson of Billings, Mont, and Diego Vasquez of Phoenix (four remarkable science students), looked on, the President spoke of the U.S. as needing to “… out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world.”

Obama called for new government investments in biomedical research, information technology and clean energy technology to spark innovation. Those investments would also need to include science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, where recent studies show that the United States is lagging behind. These are the areas where jobs could be created and where much of our future economic growth could reside.

On education, Obama set a goal of recruiting and training 100,000 great STEM teachers who are able to effectively prepare and inspire our students. These teachers would replace retiring baby boomers over the next ten years. He also spoke of the need for competitiveness in education that would be essential in creating long-term jobs in the future. In an appeal to young people, he said, “If you want to make a difference in the life of our nation; if you want to make a difference in the life of a child — become a teacher. Your country needs you.”

Obama also called for the rebuilding of America to attract new businesses. He spoke of the need for the “… fastest, most reliable ways to move people, goods, and information – from high-speed rail to high-speed internet.” He claimed that by improving our infrastructure, we would create jobs while making the U.S. a better place to do business.

The overarching idea of Obama’s speech was that of STEM education and the need of the U.S. to effectively educate our future scientists, technologists, mathematicians and engineers. In order to “… out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world,” the U.S. needs to increase innovation through investment, train quality STEM education teachers and invest in our infrastructure. That is the only way the U.S. will regain its position as a leader in the global economy.

Educating Students in the 21st Century

January 13, 2011


We would love to hear what YOU think!

For over 250 years the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) has been a cradle of enlightenment thinking and a force for social progress. 

From their website:

Our approach is multi-disciplinary, politically independent and combines cutting edge research and policy development with practical action. 

– We encourage public discourse and critical debate by providing platforms for leading experts to share new ideas on contemporary issues, through our public events programme, RSA Journal and RSA Comment.

Our projects generate new models for tackling the social challenges of today.

– Our work is supported by a 27,000 strong Fellowship – achievers and influencers from every field with a real commitment to progressive social change. 

– Our House, the historic home of the RSA, is an environmentally-friendly and flexible space that can cater for a variety of events.

In a RSA Animation of a presentation (video below) creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson asks how do we make change happen in education and how do we make it last?

Sir Ken Robinson, PhD is an internationally recognized leader in the development of creativity, innovation and human resources. He has worked with governments in Europe, Asia and the USA, with international agencies, Fortune 500 companies, and some of the world’s leading cultural organizations. He speaks to audiences throughout the world on the creative challenges facing business and education in the new global economies.

His new book, a New York Times Best Seller, ‘The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything’ (Penguin/Viking 2009) is being translated into sixteen languages.

Sir Ken was born in Liverpool, England as one of seven children. He is married to Therese (Lady) Robinson. They have two children, James and Kate, and live in Los Angeles, California.

Watch the animation of the presentation at least twice…I found that my learning style preference as a visual learner focused on the animation in my first viewing and I could listen more effectively with a second viewing. In any event…we would love to hear what YOU think!