Encouraging the Next Generation of Innovators
The speech itself was a highly debated act of outreach/"indoctrination" that elicited strong feelings from many, especially those concerned with K-12 education. But regardless of how you feel about the speech, if you're concerned with U.S. innovation and competitiveness, you have to applaud the words Obama spoke about a third of the way in:
Maybe you could be a good writer – maybe even good enough to write a book or articles in a newspaper – but you might not know it until you write a paper for your English class. Maybe you could be an innovator or an inventor – maybe even good enough to come up with the next iPhone or a new medicine or vaccine – but you might not know it until you do a project for your science class. Maybe you could be a mayor or a Senator or a Supreme Court Justice, but you might not know that until you join student government or the debate team.
It's a marvelous call to action: a challenge to our young people to build aptitude in science and technology,and to view these disciplines as tools of innovation and a path to a better future -- for themselves and for us all.