Obama Administration and Private Sector Announce More Than $100 Million in Commitments to Prepare 100,000 New STEM Teachers

On February 7, President Obama hosted the second White House Science Fair celebrating the student winners of a broad range of STEM competitions from across the country. The president also announced key additional steps that the Administration and its partners are taking to prepare 100,000 effective math and science teachers and to meet the urgent need to train one million additional STEM graduates over the next decade.

The second White House Science Fair included more than 100 students from more than 45 states, representing more than 40 different STEM competitions that recognize the talents of America’s next generation of scientists, engineers, inventors and innovators. More than 30 student teams had the opportunity to exhibit their projects this year, almost twice as many as the first White House Science Fair held in 2010. The president viewed exhibits of the student work, ranging from breakthrough research to new inventions, and then provided remarks to an audience of students, science educators and business leaders on the importance of STEM education to the country’s economic future.

In conjunction with the White House Science Fair, the President issued a national challenge to prepare 100,000 effective teachers with such skills in math and science over the next decade. Key steps being announced today to meet that goal include:

  • A new $80 million investment to help prepare effective STEM teachers: The president’s upcoming budget will request $80 million for a new competition by the Department of Education to support effective STEM teacher preparation programs, such as those that allow students to simultaneously earn both a STEM degree and a teaching certificate, and provide undergraduates with early and intensive experiences in the classroom honing their skills.
  • A new $22 million investment from the philanthropic and private sector to complement the Administration’s efforts: After the president issued his call to action to recruit and prepare 100,000 effective STEM teachers, more than 115 organizations, led by Carnegie Corporation of New York and Opportunity Equation, came together to form a coalition called “100Kin10” to help reach the president’s goal.
  • A STEM focus in upcoming Race to the Top competition: To ensure that STEM remains a component of systemic education reform, the Department of Education will again include a focus on STEM criteria in the upcoming Race to the Top competition.
  • New policies and investments to recruit, support, retain and reward excellent STEM teachers: To improve the teaching and learning of STEM and encourage the best STEM teachers to stay in the profession, the Department of Education will devote a portion of its upcoming $300 million Teacher Incentive Fund competition to support state and local efforts to improve compensation, evaluation and professional development systems for STEM educators.

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