U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will participate in a Google hangout with teenagers from Maker Camp, a free virtual summer camp for teens 13 and older, to talk about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM); technology in education; and the President's ConnectED proposal to expand high-speed internet to 99 percent of the nation’s students. To join the chat, simply follow Maker’s Google+ page at google.com/+make.
ConnectED also calls on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to modernize and leverage its existing E-Rate program to meet the goal of connecting students within five years. With millions of students lacking high-speed broadband access and fewer than 20 percent of educators saying their schools' Internet connections meet their teaching needs, ConnectED will bring high-speed Internet within reach, with a particular benefit for rural communities that have lagged behind in connectivity. ConnectED will play an important role in preparing America’s students to compete for jobs in the global economy.
In addition, President Obama has articulated a clear priority for STEM education, challenging American students to move from the middle to the top of the pack in science and math. Specifically, he has called on the nation to develop, recruit, and retain 100,000 excellent STEM teachers over the next 10 years. He also has asked colleges and universities to graduate an additional one million students with STEM majors. These improvements in STEM education will happen only if Hispanics, African-Americans, and other underrepresented groups in the STEM fields—including women, people with disabilities, and first-generation Americans—participate.