Recognizing Excellence in STEM Education

It was my pleasure today to meet the 85 winners of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. It was an honor to host them at NASA Headquarters, since these educators are critical to our nation’s future in space and the scientific and technological breakthroughs of tomorrow.

This year’s award recognized teachers at the Kindergarten to 6th grade level, and that’s really where young minds start to grasp the important concepts of science, technology, engineering and mathematics and turn their sense of wonder into a sense of purpose.

STEM teachers bear a special responsibility, because it is so essential that we develop more technology leaders for tomorrow to out-innovate and out-build our competitors and maintain U.S. leadership in space. I remember the many teachers who were instrumental in my life as I grew up – not least my parents, who were lifelong educators. These dedicated public servants are on the front lines of tomorrow with the young people who are going to be carrying out our missions to new destinations in the solar system and creating the technologies we’ll need to live and work in space for long periods of time.

President Obama has committed to strengthen STEM education and prepare 100,000 effective science and mathematics teachers over the next decade. These commitments build on the President’s “Educate to Innovate” campaign to help bolster science and technology education in the classroom.

The President said, “America’s competitiveness rests on the excellence of our citizens in technical fields, and we owe these teachers a debt of gratitude for strengthening America’s prosperity.”

Congratulations to all the winners. Keep going!

To find out more about the awards and see a list of winners, visit:

Administrator Bolden speaks at NASA Headquarters to winners of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. (Photo credit: NASA/Paul Alers)