A seemingly ever-increasing population, hooked on iPods, cellphones, and GPS systems, with big-screen televisions in every room, along with the requisite complement of DVD players, DVR’s, and video game systems, uses a lot of power — and that demand is only going to grow. The three R’s — reduce, reuse, and recycle — can only go so far in assuaging the need for energy. Clearly, we are going to continue to need to develop new ways of generating power. What those ways will be are anyone’s guess, but where the ideas will come from is clear — from the scientists of the future. That’s why Michelle Obama wants states to improve science and mathematics education.
In an address before employees of the Department of Energy, the First Lady said that “we can’t transform our energy future unless we transform our education system, particularly when it comes to math and science. That’s why we’re challenging states to raise their standards, to modernize their science labs, to upgrade their curricula, and recruit and train qualified teachers.” Obama also praised the DoE staffers and encouraged them to help get kids interested in becoming the next generation of scientists and researchers.
Along with Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Obama also participated in a practice round of the Science Bowl, a national science and math competition run by the department. “I’m like Alex Trebek,” she said. “Secretary Chu is like my Vanna White.”
Chu thanked her for visit and for “elevating the social status of nerds everywhere.” Hopefully, Mrs. Obama will convince local and state governments to fully fund and support science education, rather than putting it at the top of the list for cuts when times get tough. Because my iPod needs to be charged.