ASSOCIATION OF SCIENCE-TECHNOLOGY CENTERS ISSUES CHALLENGE
President Obama Highlights Youth Inspired in White House Announcement on STEM Education
February 22nd, 2011
CLEVELAND (Feb. 22, 2011) – The Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) announced the Youth Inspired Challenge, a major new initiative designed to expand the impact of science centers and museums to assist the nation’s youth to become the innovative and creative thinkers needed for the 21st century workforce. Inspired by President Barack Obama’s goal of strengthening the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) knowledge of America’s students, the Challenge – extended to more than 300 science centers in all 50 states – sets a three-year goal to engage thousands of youth, ages 10-19, in 2 million hours of science enrichment.
The President offered his support for the effort: “Our success as a nation depends on strengthening America’s role as the world’s engine of discovery and innovation,” said President Obama. “I applaud the Association of Science-Technology Centers and its members for lending their resources, expertise, and their enthusiasm to the task of strengthening America’s leadership in the 21st century by improving education in science, technology, engineering and math.”
“Great Lakes Science Center is excited to meet the challenge put forth by ASTC,” said Linda Abraham-Silver, president and CEO of the Science Center and ASTC board member. “As a governing member institution of ASTC, we play a key role in developing tomorrow’s workforce by exciting today’s youth about science. Every piece of our work, from field trips to camps to Free Tuesdays, drives our youth toward a STEM career.”
ASTC member institutions offer valuable science education and youth employment programs outside the classroom. Building on these programs, the goals of Youth Inspired include:
• Increasing the STEM literacy of America’s students
• Expanding opportunities for STEM engagement of underrepresented groups, including minorities and women
• Moving America’s students from the middle to the front of the pack in STEM achievement over the next decade
“It is an opportunity tragically missed if we fail to spark the interests of our young people all that science has to offer,” states ASTC Chief Executive Officer Anthony “Bud” Rock. “For this reason, science centers and museums located in communities throughout the country are providing unique educational programs that excite, energize and enrich our understanding of science and its many applications. Our challenge is to provide more of these enriching opportunities to more students in more communities across America. Inspiration is not restricted to the youth who benefit from these learning opportunities, but also to the many people who work to ensure the continued successes of our science centers and museums everywhere.”
ASTC and its member institutions will also collect, catalog, and share best practices for improving STEM literacy for all youth, and will measure and report success based on participation and reach of programs in specific audiences.
Through its network of local science centers and museums, ASTC is committed to doing its part to meet the President’s challenge of growing STEM proficiency with America’s youth.
The Association of Science-Technology Centers Incorporated is a nonprofit organization of science centers and museums dedicated to furthering public engagement with science among increasingly diverse audiences. Science centers are sites for informal learning, and are places to discover, explore, and test ideas about STEM. They feature interactive exhibits, hands-on science experiences for children, professional development opportunities for teachers, and educational programs for adults. ASTC has nearly 600 members, including 444 operating or developing science centers and museums in 44 countries, who engage over 80 million people annually in intriguing educational science activities and explorations of scientific phenomena.
About the Great Lakes Science Center
Great Lakes Science Center is one of the nation’s leading science and technology centers and home to Northeast Ohio’s NASA Glenn Visitor Center and Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s MC2STEM High School’s freshman class. Its mission is to stimulate interest in and increase understanding of the sciences, with a particular emphasis on the interdependence of scientific, environmental and technological activities in the Great Lakes region. It features hundreds of hands-on exhibits, themed traveling exhibits, daily demonstrations, the awe-inspiring OMNIMAX® Theater and the Steamship William G. Mather. The Science Center is open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Discounted parking is available for guests in the attached 500-car garage. Great Lakes Science Center is generously funded by the citizens of Cuyahoga County through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. For more information, contact the Science Center at (216) 694-2000 or visit www.GreatScience.com.
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