AmeriCorps will launch a STEM education initiative in which members will seek to build a larger network of professionals who can help students excel in those subjects.  The annual White House Science Fair held this week not only spotlighted young scientists but also shined a light on new programs aimed at engaging students in science, technology, engineering and math.

STEM EducationPresident Obama hosted the third White House Science Fair yesterday, taking the opportunity to recognize the accomplishments of students who have science fairs and to announce the launch of a new AmeriCorps track focused on STEM education.

After touring the exhibits brought to 1600 Pennsylvania by 100 students from 40 states,Obama said: “Let me just start by saying, in my official capacity as president: This stuff is really cool. And I want to thank these incredible young people for explaining to me what the heck is going on.”

As we’ve noted before, Obama has talked repeatedly about the importance of STEM education, including in his State of the Union address this year. He hosted the first White House Science Fair in 2010. STEM advocates say he’s used thebully pulpit to great effect in promoting the cause.

“We need to make this a priority to train an army of teachers in these subject areas, and to make sure that all of us as a country are lifting up these subjects for the respect that they deserve,” he said. “And we’ve got to give the millions of Americans who work in science and technology not only the kind of respect they deserve but also new ways to engage young people.”

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