Hundreds of thousands of young people simultaneously conducted the 2010 National Science Experiment on Wednesday. The event was organized by 4-H as part of its science and technology initiative and supported by the organization's One Million New Scientists, One Million New Ideas campaign. The goal of the campaign is to grow by one million the number of students entering science and technology careers by 2013.
Deputy Ag Secretary Kathleen Merrigan joined some 200 Washington-area school kids in conducting the experiment. Merrigan says science and research are the underpinning of USDA's work, from providing nutritious food to our children to supporting the incredible productivity of our farmers, and helping use our natural resources to create jobs and combat climate change. She says events like Wednesday's highlight the importance of investment in scientific research and the value of partnerships like this one with 4-H in encouraging the next generation of scientists and researchers to enter food, agriculture or agriculture enterprises in order to provide innovative solutions to the challenges we face.
It's estimated there will be 54,000 job openings in food, renewable energy and the environment between 2010 and 2015. USDA says organizations like 4-H play an important role in getting students interested in science and on track for these kinds of careers.