In the past few years, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Education has flown into the spotlight. More and more schools are adopting the STEM model, putting an emphasis on math and science-related subjects in an effort to turn out students who are ready to move up in the field.

President Obama recently attended the White House Science Fair, reviewing the winning projects and giving a short speech about the importance of STEM education.

“Let me just start by saying, in my official capacity as president: This stuff is really cool,” he said. “And,” he jested, “I want to thank these incredible young people for explaining to me what the heck is going on.”

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education is gaining popularity in the U.S. The Obama administration has pledged $3.1 billion toward STEM education.

The Obama administration has pledged $3.1 billion toward STEM education.
Image: Mary Austin via Flickr

We are quickly becoming more and more technologically advanced, but President Obama worries that we are not preparing students enough to work in STEM-related fields. “We need to make this a priority,” he said.

“To train an army of new teachers in these subject areas, and to make sure that all of us as a country are lifting up these subjects for the respect they deserve.” And the president isn’t just making hollow promises, either. The Obama administration has promised $3.1 billion to go toward improving STEM education programs across the country, including nearly half a billion to increase the number of trained educators to teach new and innovative courses.

The winning projects at the science fair included a bike-powered water filtration system, a portable wind turbine, creating trash briquettes to burn as fuel, and cheaper biofuels. And that just taps the creative potential that students today have.