Our president and his administration have decided, in their proposed blueprint for the nation’s budget, to cut funding for NASA’s Office of Education — all $115 million of it.
One organization that receives quite a bit of support from the Office of Education is the nonprofit called FIRST, or For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology — an organization that holds robotics competitions for K-12 students and promotes the education of STEM. With 5,869 active robotics teams around the world (and that’s just counting high school teams), the scene has grown very large and has improved STEM education across the country.
Cutting NASA’s Office of Education might very well damage these robotics programs and STEM education in their communities. While the Office of Education gives money to many other programs, FIRST is undoubtedly one of the most widespread and impactful. It teaches kids valuable skills that will give them an edge in the ever-growing demand for tech-based jobs. Why limit improved education for students and eliminate opportunities such as scholarships and early job experience? This does nothing but undermine a great program for students and further cut education.