School was in session today at the White House, as President Obama welcomed more than 100 teachers who received the 2013 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching (PAEMST).
Investing in exemplary teachers is vital to inspiring the next generation of explorers and innovators. Great teaching is a key part of any child’s success, and in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, it is critical to create educational experiences that are project-based, hands-on, and build a love of lifelong learning.
As the President has said, “Strengthening STEM education is vital to preparing our students to compete in the 21st century economy and we need to recruit and train math and science teachers to support our Nation’s students.”
To meet this challenge, the President called for preparing 100,000 excellent science and mathematics teachers over the next decade in his 2011 State of the Union address. More than 230 corporations, philanthropies, universities, service organizations, and Federal agencies have come together in a coalition called 100kin10. The coalition has made hundreds of specific commitments to help hire, develop, and retain more than 43,000 STEM teachers and has raised over $80 million in private funds. Today, 100kin10 is announcing a new fund to support STEM teacher training, with pledges totaling more than $6 million.
Since 1983, more than 4,300 teachers have been recognized through the PAEMST program for their contributions in the classroom and the teaching profession. The 2013 award recipients included 7-12 grade math teachers and science teachers from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity.
Our country’s future innovators, discoverers, and designers are sitting in classrooms today and the students of these awardees have a true STEM champion as their teacher. Here are just a few of the 2013 awardees:
Kumar Garg is Assistant Director for Learning and Innovation at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Danielle Carnival is Assistant Director for Education and Learning Science at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.