Saturday, February 07, 2004

Bush Space Policy Responses: "Some would argue that the money would be better spent on education. That by adding the $11 billion planned for this new initiative to the $600 billion US department of Education budget over the same time would solve all the problems with the educational system.

How about the story of Homer H. Hickam, Jr, a boy growing up in Coalwood West Virginia in the late 1950's. A company town where you joined your father and grandfather in the coal mines when you grew up. In 1957 Homer greeted the news of Spunik with awe and decided to build his own rocket. He spent weekends and evenings learning engineering, math and physics, his friends joined in, and in 1960 they and their rockets came in first place at a national science fair and won full scholarships. As a result of the space program the US gained 4 engineers and 2 bankers rather than six young boys destined to a life in the mines.

This story was repeated thousands of times throughout U.S. in the 1960's. Convincing children to pursue science, technology, and math, and setting the stage for the computer revolution of the 1970's.

The U.S. is dependant on the knowledge based economy and if we are to remain competitive, we need to have more and more students entering the fields of engineering, technology and science. What better way to contribute to the educational excellence of our nation than to support and contribute to a program that will inspire thousands of children to enter the fields that our modern economy requires. After all study after study shows that children learn most effectively when they are genuinely interested in the topic and want to know the subject for its own sake and not because the teacher tells them to.
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