HUNTINGTON, TX (KTRE) - President Barack Obama announced that $240 million will go toward STEM education programs (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math subjects).
Those who choose to pursue STEM careers are few, but East Texas schools are hoping to change that.
The president spoke at the White House Science Fair about the importance of STEM studies. He decided to invest in subjects that are well-needed but tend to scare some students off.
"We learn the basics of programming and start building robots, we learn all about engineering," said Shiloh Waldron, a Huntington High School junior.
Huntington has a robotics class for those who want to dive into the studies.
"I'm planning to go to A&M and pursue aerospace engineering," Waldron said.
These Huntington High School students recognize the importance of pursuing STEM careers. On Thursday, they were working on programming. Some found their interest just by being exposed to the possibilities.
"Aerospace engineering sparked my interest about a year and a half ago at a STEM day seminar," Waldron said.
Down the road in Lufkin ISD, the deputy superintendent said they also push their students towards STEM studies. They already have a partnership with SFA's STEM Center for those interested in the field.
"That exposes them to SFA graduates, SFA professors, and so forth," said Lynn Torres, Lufkin's deputy superintendent.
The students received laptops for their studies, Torres said the program has been around a $400,000 investment. She said she wants it to continue to grow.
"Since we're already on the path that would be the an opportunity for us to also apply for that type of funding," Torres said. "No young person in America should miss out on the chance to excel in these fields just because they don't have the resources."
East Texas schools hope to benefit from the commitment, but until then they are already on the ball.
"We're preparing students for careers that we don't even know exist yet," Torres said.
"STEM is the future, stem is the future as technology increases," Waldron said.
The president also said in his speech that he not only wants to increase the number of American students in STEM, but he wants to increase the diversity of these types of programs.
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