|11:22 AM EST||
Bill Foster, D-IL 14th
Mr. FOSTER. Madam Speaker, I am here on the floor today to speak in support of H. Res. 862 honoring the Illinois Math and Science Academy for its receipt of the Intel Corporation's Star Innovator Award. The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy is a school of outstanding academic quality in my district, but I am also speaking in support of bringing the attention of this body to the importance of education in science, mathematics, and other quantitative fields.
The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy was first proposed by Leon Lederman, the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1988 as a way of ensuring that top flight and motivated Illinois children receive an invaluable education in science and mathematics, and also to train thousands of Illinois teachers in the art of teaching those skills. Under the guidance of Stephanie Pace Marshall, this institution blossomed into an institution that has graduated many famous and accomplished graduates,
including the inventor of the original Web browser, Mosaic, the founder of YouTube, and dozens of surgeons, teachers, fighter pilots, scientists, and, yes, even financial services experts. We employ an IMSA graduate in our congressional office today.
The award that this school received last September, Intel Corporation's Star Innovator award, has its own rich history of promoting science in the United States. The progenitor of this award was first given out in 1942, then referred to as the Westinghouse Science Talent Search. This award was given out under this name for over 50 years and was highly recognized as the highest scientific honor that any high school student could receive.
A decade ago, this program was taken over by Intel, the company that invented the microprocessor and a company that recognizes the crucial importance of math and science education to the economic future of our country. The name of the award and its primary sponsor may have changed, but the award itself and the high academic honor associated with it continue to this day.
Under Intel's guidance, the program now includes awards honoring not only students and teachers, but innovative institutions specializing in math and science education as well. As a scientist myself, I see the need for recognizing and congratulating scientific achievement at all ages. We need not just this award, not just corporate sponsorships, not just economic awards, but also a new cultural appreciation for the value of individuals with extensive quantitative skills in math, science, and
engineering, and other technical disciplines.
But I also have a special reason to be proud of this award. As it turns out, my daughter is one of the many proud alums who call IMSA their alma mater. My daughter recently graduated from Stanford, and I am happy to report that she is now gainfully employed doing work she enjoys, certainly one of the key milestones in any parent's lifetime.
While the Illinois Math and Science Academy lies in the Illinois 14th Congressional District that I represent, I am proud to be joined in this congratulation by the entire Illinois delegation. And in particular, I would like to thank the gentlewoman from Illinois (Mrs. Biggert), IMSA's neighbor to the east, who has always been a strong supporter of math and science education, as well as the Illinois Math and Science Academy.