STEM becomes focus on Champions of Change agenda

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The White House on Thursday honored 11 people for promoting science, technology, engineering and math programs — STEM — in communities often underserved in those areas.

Every week, the White House highlights select individuals — “Champions of Change” — who are doing extraordinary things in their communities, and invites them to share their work.

This week’s 11 “champions” have made major progress in promoting STEM programs especially among the younger generation. Projects have included providing low-income students with programming classes, teaching computer science to high school students, and encouraging young women and urban teens to write code.

President Barack Obama has consistently announced his support of STEM programs, particularly with youths and minorities.

“We also know that as a nation, our diversity is one of our greatest strengths,” Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to the president, wrote in an Aug. 1 blog post. That’s why President Obama is committed to making sure our STEM talent pool reflects the full spectrum of America.”

The White House isn’t the only department working to be more inclusive in STEM. Other science-oriented arms of the federal government such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Energy Department have also created STEM programs targeting women and girls.

The Labor Department estimates there will be more than 1.4 million job openings in the computer-related field by 2020. Obama, in his 2013 State of the Union address, called for an increase in STEM programs and more than 1 million STEM graduates over the next 10 years.

This tech-inclusion event also ignited chatter on Twitter from the STEM community:

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Agencies, Applications & Software, Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Energy (DOE), Departments, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Government IT News, Innovation, Marines, Social Media, Tech, Valerie Jarrett, White House
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