The United States has become the greatest economic power in the world as discovery, science and engineering are in the DNA of its people, US President Barack Obama said.

“America has always been about discovery, invention, engineering, science and evidence. That’s who we are. That’s in our DNA. That’s how this country became the greatest economic power in the history of the world,” Obama said in his remarks at the 2013 White House Science Fair yesterday.

“That’s how we’re able to provide so many contributions to people all around the world with our scientific, medical and technological discoveries,” Obama said in his address to the students during the third annual White House Acience Fair, where a select group of students from across the country displayed their innovative ideas to the Scientist-in-Chief of the United States.

“If extraordinary young people like all of you can use their talents to shape the future of our families and our communities and our countries, we’ve got a responsibility to make sure that they’ve got the tools to do it,” Obama said.

He stressed on the need to make it a priority to train an army of new teachers in science and engineering.

“One of the things that I’m concerned about is that, as a culture, we’re great consumers of technology, but we’re not always properly respecting the people who are in the labs and behind the scenes creating the stuff that we now take for granted.

And we’ve got to give the millions of Americans who work in science and technology not only the kind of respect they deserve, but also new ways to engage young people,” he said.

'AmeriCorps' programme

He also announced the launch of a new ‘AmeriCorps’ programme to connect more professional scientists and engineers to young students.

The White House Science Fair featured 100 students from more than 40 States, representing 45 different STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) competitions and organisations that recognise the talents of America’s next generation of scientists, engineers, inventors and innovators.

Around 30 teams exhibited their projects at the fair.

(This article was published on April 23, 2013)
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