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Governors and Business Leaders Join in National Lab Day Kickoff

State leaders, CEOs and scientists pledge their support for nationwide initiative to reinvigorate hands-on learning in the U.S.
Date: May 12, 2010
NEW YORK, May 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, state governors and a wide range of business and non-profit leaders representing millions of scientists, engineers and teachers pledged their support for National Lab Day (NLD). NLD is a grassroots initiative designed to reinvigorate science and math education in the nation's schools and after-school programs and a key component of President Obama's "Educate to Innovate" campaign.

National Lab Day brings exciting, hands-on learning to thousands of students through more than 1,000 discovery-based science projects taking place in all 50 states inspiring the next wave of innovators.

Leaders from across the country expressed their enthusiasm and support for National Lab Day and recognize the importance of this investment in America's future including:

Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, Beverly Eaves Perdue of North Carolina, Ted Strickland of Ohio, Martin O'Malley of Maryland, Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania, Jennifer Granholm of Michigan, Pat Quinn of Illinois; former governors Jim Hunt of North Carolina and Richard Riley of South Carolina who also served as U.S. Department of Education Secretary under President Clinton; Carol Bartz, CEO of Yahoo, Jodi Grant of Afterschool Alliance and Aileen Lee, Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; several university and school chancellors including Joel Klein of New York City, Robert J. Birgeneau of UC Berkeley, Michelle Drake of UC Irvine, President of the University of California Mark G. Yudof, and Charles Reed of California State University among others.

"National Lab Day is exactly the type of initiative our country needs," said Dr. Sally Ride, astronaut and physicist. "I run a program, called EarthKAM, that takes advantage of our National Lab in space -- the International Space Station. It enables more than 60,000 students a year to take pictures of coral reefs, river deltas, and glaciers from space. Programs like this can have an enormous impact. By giving students the opportunity to engage in exciting science and math projects, National Lab Day creates pathways for the next generation of innovative thinkers to rocket us into the next decade. I encourage other scientists to join me in expanding awareness of this terrific campaign."

"Our commitment to STEM education is one of the most important investments we can make, not only for our students but for our state and for our country," Ohio Governor Ted Strickland said. "Equipping our young people with the practical knowledge and the critical thinking skills learned from studying these disciplines will better prepare them to be the innovators and entrepreneurs of the future. National Lab Day brings together people across the country to provide students these very opportunities. It is a great compliment to Ohio's multiple STEM education programs and our successful economic development program, Ohio Third Frontier, which is creating jobs in high-growth industries that rely on STEM skills such as advanced energy and biomedicine."

"The enthusiasm from so many leaders in business, government and science will propel National Lab Day to new heights. These are key partners who will re-engage students in discovery and hands-on learning," said Jack D. Hidary, Chairman of National Lab Day.

"Science and technology have long been cornerstones of America's economy and spirit of innovation," said Carol Bartz, CEO of Yahoo. "Hands-on efforts like National Lab Day help start the spark that can light the fire of interest and passion among today's youth."

National Lab Day is a multi-year initiative launching May 12th. This year-round, nationwide effort promotes hands-on learning for students working on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) projects. The NLD website matches these students for collaboration with scientists, engineers, architects, and other experts who currently work in those fields. Launched in beta this past January, National Lab Day is already working with more than 1,000 schools in all 50 states to promote learning through discovery and exploration.
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