Office of Science and Technology Policy Blog
- Posted byon August 8, 2013 at 8:10 AM EST
Last week, the White House honored 11 heroes as Champions of Change for Tech Inclusion —leaders who have done extraordinary work to connect kids from underrepresented and underserved communities to tech skills and opportunities.
President Obama has emphasized time and again that science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are crucial to America’s economic future, and that equipping students with STEM skills is key to our Nation’s competitiveness in the global marketplace.
But today in America, there is a large gap between the number of tech jobs available and the number of people who have the proper training and education to fill those jobs.
The Obama Administration is taking steps to help close this gap and—recognizing that diversity is one of our Nation’s greatest strengths—is fully committed to ensuring that the Nation’s STEM workforce reflects the full spectrum of unique perspectives, talents, and skills across our country.
Role-models and community leaders from across the Nation, such as the 11 incredible individuals honored at this week’s Champions of Change event, are absolutely critical to making change happen on the ground. Every day, from coast to coast, they are inspiring kids to see themselves as the builders, coders, programmers, and innovators of the future.
- Posted byon August 6, 2013 at 12:41 PM EST
Ed. note: This event has concluded. Watch the full hangout below.
“As president, I believe that robotics can inspire young people to pursue science and engineering. And I also want to keep an eye on those robots in case they try anything.”
- President Barack Obama at the launch of his Educate to Innovate Campaign
Here at the White House, we’re hard at work keeping our eye on the robots, and as we celebrate one car-sized robotic rover’s 1st year on Mars, we wanted to update you on the state of American robotics and the possibilities for robots to improve life on Earth.
Join us on Friday, August 9th, at 2:00 pm EDT for a “We the Geeks” Google+ Hangout on “Robots” – where pioneering scientists will discuss how robots can help transform everything from school classrooms to the factory floor and operating rooms to the way we explore the Solar System.
You’ll meet American inventors giving robots incredible new capabilities in manufacturing and medicine. You’ll also hear how the Obama Administration’s National Robotics Initiative is accelerating innovations that will expand the horizons of human capacity and potentially add over $100 billion to the American economy in the next decade.
The Hangout will be moderated by Vijay Kumar, Assistant Director for Robotics and Cyberphysical Systems, and Tom Kalil, Deputy Director for Technology and Innovation at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. John Green, best selling author and popular video blogger, will join the discussion and curate questions for a panel of these leading experts:
- Rodney Brooks, President, Rethink Robotics, with Humanoid Robot, Baxter
- Daniela Rus, Director of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, MIT
- Matthew Mason, Director, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University
- Robin Murphy, Director of the Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue, Texas A&M University
- Allison Okamura, Principal Investigator, Collaborative Haptics and Robotics in Medicine Lab, Stanford University
- Posted byon July 29, 2013 at 9:44 AM EST
Last Tuesday, the White House honored 14 Open Government and Civic Hacking Champions of Change— extraordinary Americans working to improve their communities through technology, innovation, and civic participation.
As entrepreneurs, innovators, organizers, and community leaders, these "Champions of Change" have made a tremendous positive impact by building high-tech tools to help health workers and disaster-response crews better serve communities; piloting innovative programs to involve traditionally disengaged communities in local governance; using new technologies to enhance government transparency and collaboration; and more.
The honorees reflect the many kinds of new and diverse opportunities to engage in public service that the digital age has unleashed—as well as the important role of our citizens in making our democracy more transparent, participatory, effective, and efficient.
Indeed, when presenting his new management agenda earlier this month, President Obama said, "...We the people recognize that this government belongs to us, and it's up to each of us and every one of us to make it work better... We all have a stake in government success—because the government is us."
Leaders in the public and private sectors have recognized this—and are embracing the opportunity to collaborate with talented individuals who are working to make a positive impact in their communities.
- Posted byon July 24, 2013 at 3:47 PM EST
On July 24, 2013, five young women who are past winners or current finalists of the Google Science Fair met with Senior Obama Administration Officials to discuss issues related to girls in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). From left to right: Brittany Wenger, Valerie Ding, Naomi Shah, Lizzie Zhao, and Lauren Hodge. (Photo by Karrie Pitzer)
Since the earliest days of his Administration, President Obama has made it a top priority to provide students with the skills they need to excel in the well-paying and highly rewarding STEM fields, with a particular focus on women and girls. He understands that increasing the number of women engaged in STEM is essential to our Nation’s ability to out-build, out-educate, and out-innovate future competitors.
The young participants in today’s meeting embody that potential. At the meeting, the students each described their breakthrough science projects, their career aspirations, and shared their views on what barriers could be overcome to help further increase the participation of girls in STEM studies.
- Posted byon July 23, 2013 at 9:51 AM EST
Last week, as Comi-Con-induced excitement permeated the geek community, the White House hosted another installment of its “We the Geeks” Google Hangout series, this time on “The Stuff Superheroes Are Made Of.” The Hangout featured top scientists and engineers working to develop materials and technologies that can enable real-life “superpowers” such as invisibility and super strength. Some of the participants even demoed their wares live on the air.
- Posted byon July 17, 2013 at 2:15 PM EST
Ed. note: This event has concluded. Watch the full hangout below.
This week, as thousands of sci-fi and superhero enthusiasts gather in San Diego for Comic-Con, here at the White House we’ll be gathering some of the Nation’s top innovators who are designing materials to enable real-life superpowers—including invisibility and super-strength.
This Friday, July 19th at 12:00 pm EDT for a “We the Geeks” Google+ Hangout on “The Stuff Superheroes Are Made Of” – where we’ll be talking about some of the most exciting new developments in materials science and how they can change our world for the better.
You’ll meet American scientists and innovators working on materials and technologies with amazing capabilities—seemingly ripped straight from the pages of a comic book or film script—including invisibility cloaks, impenetrable liquid armor, self-healing, touch-sensitive synthetic skin, and more. You’ll also hear how the Obama Administration’s Materials Genome Initiative – which just celebrated its second birthday – is helping to enable and accelerate these breakthroughs with the goal of making them happen faster and cheaper than ever before.
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