Vice President Joe Biden said on Thursday that students should get a “full scholarship” for their “middle class” scholarship because they are “not getting enough” and they should “take it seriously.”
The vice president said at the annual White House Summit on STEM Education, adding that he is “extremely encouraged” by the growing number of students who are pursuing STEM majors.
The vice presidential announcement came hours after Vice President Biden announced that the National Science Foundation (NSF) would create an online platform for students to share their STEM expertise.
The platform, which is called STEMHub, will help students in all STEM fields get access to a “bigger picture of what they’re learning.”
“I think that this is an opportunity for every student in America to get a full scholarship,” Biden said at Thursday’s summit.
“You’re not getting enough.
And you’re not taking it seriously, so that means you’re going to get more of it, you’re more likely to get it.”
Biden said the platform would allow students to submit their own research, “but also to work with us to help make it available in more contexts, like online.”
“There are a lot of students that are interested in learning STEM.
We have a whole cohort of them that are not in school right now,” Biden continued.
“We want them to get this opportunity.”
The announcement comes at a time when President Donald Trump’s administration is grappling with what it calls the “disruption” of STEM education, a term he uses to describe the increased emphasis on online courses and other extracurricular activities that are often not offered in the classroom.
Biden made a similar point at a meeting in March of the STEM Education Task Force.
In the meeting, Biden said the White House was “exploring all of the options” to support STEM students.
“There’s a lot more opportunity for these young people to be in STEM than we thought before,” Biden told reporters.
Bashar al-Assad, a member of the council of ministers, also attended the meeting.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment from Vice President Pence.
The White House has not yet commented on Biden’s remarks, but it has repeatedly said that “STEM” is a broad term that includes all forms of learning that focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).