U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday announced a 240-million-U.S. dollar pledge by private sectors to strengthen the country's education in the fields of STEM, known as science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
"Today, I'm pleased to announce 240 million dollars in new contributions from businesses, from schools, from foundations across the country to help kids learn in these STEM fields," Obama said at the 2015 White House Science Fair, which celebrates the student winners of a broad range of STEM competitions from across the country.
"No young person in America should miss out on the chance to excel in these fields just because they don't have the resources," he noted.
According to a statement from the White House, foundations like the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Simons Foundation, will provide 150 million dollars to support scientists early in their careers.
The commitments also included a 90 million campaign to expand STEM opportunities to underrepresented youth such as minorities and girls.
The Department of Education will also launch a 25-million- dollar grant competition to support the development of educational television and digital media for young children.
In addition, a coalition of CEOs has pledged to help expand high-quality STEM education to an additional 1.5 million students this year and 120 universities have committed to train 20,000 new engineers.
Obama launched a campaign called "Educate to Innovate" in 2009 to encourage students to explore science, technology, engineering and math.
With the commitments being made Monday, the campaign has received over one billion dollars in financial and in-kind support for STEM programs, the White House said.