President Barack Obama told dozens of students gathered on the South Lawn of the White House Monday night that they could be the ones participating in the first missions to Mars within the next two decades.
The president hosted students, teachers, astronomers, engineers and space enthusiasts from across the country for the second-ever White House Astronomy Night. Obama joined the attendees in stargazing through a high-powered telescope, holding genuine space artifacts and meeting the nation's top scientists and astronauts.
Standing on stage next to a spacesuit, Obama emphasized his administration's efforts in preparing more young people to pursue studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, commonly referred to as STEM. He announced a new set of private-sector commitments to further that goal, such as an initiative to create 100 STEM networks across the nation in five years, and supporting after-school and summer STEM programs for more than 500,000 students in dozens of states. READ MORE OF THIS STORY ON VOA NEWS WEBPAGE