Uncle Sam Asks Kids to Be Inventors RRS feed

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  • A Department of Commerce initiative is targeting children ages 8 to 11 in hopes of staving off an impending decrease in U.S. global competitiveness. Several Commerce advertisements will lead children to www.InventNow.org, which aims to stir up interest in innovation among children by showing them videos of other children inventing devices to solve problems. "In an innovation-driven economy, the key to our future success and competitiveness lies in making sure we are sharing America's culture of innovation with our young people," said Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is optimistic that the ads will inspire children who see them to become "more inventive; explore math, science, and other creative fields," according to USPTO director John Dudas. Given the recent fall in undergraduates pursuing computer science, "Jobs will go begging in the next few years because we don't have the people willing to take on field," says Microsoft Research VP Rick Rashid. Rashid says the number of U.S. PhD computing candidates could be 50 percent less by 2010. "We are at a low point of interest in computer science," Rashid says. The advertising effort is a product of USPTO's work with the National Inventor's Hall of Fame Foundation. The two will also collaborate on a summer camp and club for young inventors.
    Thursday, April 12, 2007 7:01 AM