OSTP Pressroom - April 22, 2009
OSTP Director Dr. John P. Holdren visits students at the Takoma Park Middle School on Earth Day
Dr. John P. Holdren , the Science and Technology Advisor to President Barack Obama, visited students at the Takoma Park Middle School in Montgomery County, Maryland, on Earth Day.
Holdren—a world-renowned expert on energy technology and policy, environmental science, and nuclear arms control and nonproliferation—is a key figure in the Obama Administration’s quest to develop greener energy sources, reduce dependence on foreign oil, and minimize the dangers from climate change. He is also a leading advocate for increased support of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. He has long made a practice of spending time with K-12 as well as college and university students to talk about the excitement of applying science and technology to addressing the great societal challenges in economy, environment, and international security.
While at the school, Holdren talked to students—and entertained questions from them—about the importance of science in policymaking; what it is like to advise the President on the important issues of energy, environment and climate change; the challenges facing the nation and the world with regard to biodiversity, air quality and the health of the oceans, and other topics. Students asked some tough questions. One wanted to know how much stimulus money would go to Fermilab, the national physics laboratory in Batavia, Ill ($35 million). Another pressed for details about the counterintuitive relationship between carbon dioxide levels and temperature increases over geologic history. After his talk, Dr. Holdren was mobbed by students with additional questions and requests for autographs.
Takoma Park Middle School (TPMS) is a science, math, and computer science magnet school widely known for its excellent teachers and ambitious students. Just three weeks ago, veteran TPMS 7th-grade science teacher Bryan Goehring was announced as one of four winners of the coveted Marian Greenblatt Excellence in Teaching Award, making him a finalist for the County’s Teacher of the Year Award. And on April 21st he was named the winner of that award for the County—an honor that won him personal praise from Dr. Holdren, who said he was sure that President Obama would be equally proud to know of Mr. Goehring’s accomplishment.