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Vest urges Congress to invest in science ed

President Charles M. Vest and two undergraduate students went before Congressional leaders and staff May 1 to emphasize the vital importance of a national investment in science and technology education.

Vest spoke on the issue of continued federal support for a national investment in science, engineering and mathematics education, emphasizing the importance of instilling enthusiasm for these fields in children.

To underscore his emphasis on the relationship between a young student's enthusiasm and consequent achievement in science, Vest introduced two outstanding MIT students, Daniel Sandoval and Tricia Um.

Sandoval is a senior majoring in mechanical engineering from El Paso, Tex. He is a first-generation United States citizen who became interested in engineering and science when he attended the MITE2S summer program at MIT in 1997.

Sandoval received the 2001 Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Corporation's Student Leadership Award. He plans to attend graduate school at Stanford University.

Um is a sophomore with a double major in management and electrical engineering and computer science. She was born in Yorba Linda, Calif. and was named a Gates Millennium Scholar in high school.

Um works with Professor Eric Klopfer to integrate computers into K-12 math and science classrooms. She was attracted to engineering and science through a high school teacher's use of innovative software in her Advanced Placement chemistry class.

The Office of Science and Technology Policy and the American Chemical Society, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the House Science Committee, sponsored the luncheon on the theme of "Science and Technology: Serving our Global Community."

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 8, 2002.

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