Opinion, arguments & analyses from the editors of Scientific American

Change the equation: Scientific American joins White House effort to boost U.S. science, tech and math skills


On September 16, President Barack Obama announced a major addition to the "Educate to Innovate" campaign: the formation of a nonprofit called Change the Equation, a CEO-led effort to dramatically improve education in science, technology, engineering, and math.


The initiative, whose founders include former astronaut Sally K. Ride, will include many programs that will aim to improve professional development for math and science teachers, increase the number of students that take and pass rigorous advance-placement math and science courses, and provide means for more students to participate in, for instance, robotics competitions.


Change the Equation currently has a membership of 100 CEOs, and funding of $5 million for its first year of operations.


As part of its "Bridge to Science" program for parents and scientists, Nature Publishing Group (Scientific American's parent company) will make a three-year, $5.5-million commitment to a series of programs to build stronger connections between parents, students and scientists, including providing parents easy-to-do experiments, and creating an online platform for parents and children to become “citizen scientists”. In addition, Nature and its affiliated journals will provide cost-free professional development for biology teachers interested in incorporating cutting-edge science, and recruit 1000 scientist-readers to participate in classrooms through efforts such as National Lab Day


As for Scientific American, in 2011 look for "Bring Science Home," a major new effort to provide parents simple experiments they can do with their children, and "Citizen Science," an online platform for children and adults to participate in ongoing scientific research conducted by major research institutions.

Image of first Place Winner in Brookhaven Lab's Elementary School Science Fair, held in Upton, N.Y., May 8, 2004/Brookhaven National Lab

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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