Dr. Jo Handelsman of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy says, “Women and minorities have been left out of science to a large degree. Still, engineering is very male dominated and many of the physical sciences are.”
Bringing energy, excitement, and attention to STEM opportunities for women and minorities has been on the agenda of the current presidential administration. The White House Science Fair brings youth together to share a variety of scientific discoveries and explorations, while drawing attention to STEM in a very public way, at a national level.
Participants, in ways that had not been seen in past fairs, explored resources/technologies surrounding social justice and equality. Handelsman said, “They’re concerned about the environment. They’re concerned about people. They’re concerned about equity. Health — they’re concerned that medical tests are too expensive for people who need them. Those are very sophisticated and empathic feelings for kids that young.”
Quotes and additional highlights from the 2016 White House Science Fair can be found here.