Dean Kamen: U.S. Must Focus on STEM to Regain Innovative Spirit

We must encourage students to excel in the STEM fields if we are to remain competitive.

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Dean Kamen, inventor and founder of FIRST, autographs a custom-built robot designed by students.

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Use innovative business thinking to change the culture. Google started with a spark of genius by two entrepreneurs and mushroomed into a tech giant that provides instant free access to information, not to mention global science fairs that encourage kids to explore their creativity. But we need more from businesses—resources, innovative thinking, and employee volunteer talent. By supporting STEM initiatives from the White House and the U.S. Department of Education, public/private partnerships have the opportunity to train and excite young talent and turn them into technology leaders.

These are just a few ideas to spur us all to take action. If we don't want to become a Third World country, we will need to cultivate every spark of innovation we can find into a firestorm of new industrial growth. I know this movement will lead to a cultural shift of massive proportions, and I can't wait for the day we roll out the national red carpet to cheer the real heroes: the scientists, engineers, and inventors who are shaping our world.

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