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Helping teachers spark students' interest in science and math

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Written by Shelly Esque, vice president in the Legal and Corporate Affairs group and president of the Intel Foundation

Yesterday I had the honor of representing Intel in a small meeting with President Obama, the Vice President and Dr. Biden (a professor of English) prior to the public announcement around the “Educate to Innovate” campaign. The President met with just three technology companies and two University representatives to thank us for our continued commitment to STEM education in the U.S. All of us in the room recognize the importance of public/private alignment and cooperation if we are truly going to turn the tide on science and math education in our country. U.S. 15 years olds rank 21st among nations in Science and 25th in Math achievement and we all recognize that our future - the future of U.S. competitiveness, our standard of living and the health of our companies depends on improvement. The President and Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan plans on continuing to shine a light on this issue and the administration is taking bold steps to turn the situation around. “…our future depends on reaffirming America’s role as the world’s engine of scientific discovery and technological innovation.” This meeting was specifically about Teachers and their preparedness to spark young people to engage with science and math subjects and careers. Intel’s long standing commitment to teacher training and educational improvement is a perfect fit with the administration’s vision of increasing the quality and quantity of qualified Math and Science teachers and to making “rock stars” out of young people who demonstrate excellence in science and math.

We affirmed our commitment to teacher training, science competitions, and our other work to engage, inspire and recognize the next generation of innovators. I was proud to be part of the celebration and I’m proud to know the President recognizes our work and supports private sector collaborative efforts.

I think the biggest challenges remain around educating parents and young people about the importance of attaining science and math literacy at an early age and sticking with rigorous curriculum so that many doors will be open when they decide to choose a career. How can we get this topic to the forefront of the national dialogue? Where is the sense of urgency that is needed to take bold steps? I think that’s a challenge we all need to take responsibility for helping to solve. I would love to hear your ideas.

For more information please click on the following links:

- Intel Teach Program

- Intel Math

- Intel science competitions