Al Gore to Tackle STEM Education in Online Townhall
Can former Vice President Al Gore do for STEM education what he did for environmental awareness? No, he's not filming a science, technology, engineering, and math documentary with director Davis Guggenheim. Instead, Gore's hoping to spark student interest in STEM fields by hosting "Math, Science and the Future of Our Nation," a global online town hall on Wednesday, November 17th.
According to the National Science Foundation, 80 percent of the jobs created over the next decade will require math and science skills. So, Gore, and his partners at Time Warner Cable's philanthropic arm, Connect a Million Minds, hope to interest and excite young people from around the world through conversations with the leading minds in STEM fields-experts like astronaut Sally Ride and inventor Dean Kamen. Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage from the Discovery Channel's MythBuster's team are also participating and will surely bring a dose of pop culture cool to the dialogue.
The town hall takes place at 12:00 p.m. EST—meaning American students need to be able to live-stream the event into classrooms. The site provides an educators guide and several schools in Wisconsin have stepped up to the plate and are hosting student viewing parties. However, how access will work for mostly minority students at under-resourced schools that frequently lack computer equipment and the ability to project a live streamed video in a classroom is an outstanding question.
Gore and the organizers also hope parents, teachers and community members will take a post-town hall "pledge" to "connect the young people in your life to after-school opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math."