The President has said that learning science and math “… goes beyond the facts in a biology textbook or the questions on an algebra quiz. It's about the ability to understand our world.” He made these comments last year at the launch of the Administration’s Educate to Innovate campaign to improve science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.
At the 2010 White House Egg Roll yesterday, preschoolers and students had the opportunity to learn some science, with the South Lawn of the White House as their laboratory setting. Some dissected seeds, looked through a microscope, and thought about how plants grow. Some made simple box kites from paper bags, and thought about what makes a kite fly. All had fun exploring the world around them.
These and other STEM activities were the result of a month of planning by OSTP and key partners in science and media, including:
- The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), which ran a wonderful “Science of Spring” activity section, allowing parents and children to dissect green been seeds, look at them under a microscope, take beans home to plant, and document their progress online. (You can plant your own seeds and post their progress on that site as well.)
- The Lawrence Hall of Science, which ran a kite-making activity in the Eggspress Yourself section, giving kids a chance to create something themselves and learn about wind energy and flight (while gaining a good excuse to run around). Volunteers helped students experiment with different designs and gave them tips to continue learning at home.
- Discovery Channel’s celebrity scientist-chefs Homaro "Omar" Cantu and Ben Roche, of the new show Future Food, who spent much of their day in the “Play with your Food” section showcasing food science and entertaining ways to make food more healthy. In one, they showed a way to carbonate fresh fruit to create a fun, healthy, eating option. You can check out their recipes yourself.
All in all, an egg-ceptional time was had by all.
Kumar Garg is a Policy Analyst in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy