In an effort to encourage kids' interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), the Science Channel and Discovery Communications recently launched their Support Our Science (SOS) initiative.

The White House made the announcement about SOS yesterday. The program will provide digital tools, resources and exclusive Science Channel content for kindergartners through high school seniors, as well as give teachers much-needed classroom assets and support needed for STEM education.

"Discovery Education is pleased to collaborate with Science Channel and our other partners on this very important effort," says Bill Goodwyn, President and CEO of Discovery Education. "Initiatives like SUPPORT OUR SCIENCE help educators engage students in STEM subjects, accelerate student achievement, and build the problem solving, critical thinking and collaboration skills needed for success in the workplace of tomorrow."

Currently, in the U.S., American students rank 25th in math among industrialized nations. In science, they rank 17th. Even worse, eighth graders are usually two years behind in mathematical studies from similar students in other countries. As they grow older, students in the U.S. become even worse at math and science, with gaps widening every year compared to other industrialized nations.

Not only that, but 63 percent of science, defense and aerospace businesses face a shortage of qualified workers. It's also likely that much future employment could rely on STEM knowledge.

This is why initiatives, such as SOS, are important. Getting students interested in STEM education is just a first step. It's also important to keep their interest and give them the right tools and resources to help them learn more about these subjects.

In its first mission, SOS plans on partnering with The Planetary Society, Girls, Inc. and Maker Ed, to give two elementary or middle schools in Houston and Atlanta the chance to try out the new SOS program. A third school will also be chosen for this specialized science programming via a contest that starts on May 1. Parents and educators interested in entering their schools can submit their entry on the Science Channel SOS website.

"Children possess a natural curiosity about the world around them--how things work and why things happen," says Rita Mullin, general manager of Science Channel. "Science Channel is excited to help students ignite that natural curiosity into a passion for science and technology for the future."

The SOS program features exclusive Science Channel programming, professional development for educators, digital resources, hands-on science activities and state-of-the-art STEM labs.

Photo: Lars Plougmann | Flickr

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