“New Edison Project” Means A Bright Future

March 8, 2006

Assemblyman Bob Oaks (R,C-Macedon) today joined the Assembly Minority Conference in unveiling the New Edison Project. Studies have shown that America’s young people lack the necessary skills to be proficient in math and science. The Assembly minority has introduced legislation that will encourage young people to pursue math and science.

“New York state and the United States are still the world’s leaders in providing top notch students and world class innovation, but we need to do something to keep that title or else we run the risk of not fully tapping into the potential that our youth possess,” said Oaks. “We have the best and the brightest young people in the country right here in New York state, but they are interested in other fields like law, fashion and entertainment. We need more doctors, engineers and computer scientists to fill the needs of our growing technology industry and this program is going to give them a push in the right direction.”

The Edison Project contains numerous incentives designed to encourage students to major in math and science and stay in New York upon graduation. They include:

  • Creation of six new regionally-based high schools, or programs within existing high schools, geared toward enriched math, science and engineering curricula.
  • Celebrity Media Plan to use celebrities to promote the message that it is “cool” to excel in math and science.
  • NYS Science Fair with financial awards to winning high schools and scholarships for winning participants.
  • Loan forgiveness for math, science and engineering majors who choose to work in New York upon graduation.
  • Additional $500 E-TAP award for math, science and engineering majors.
  • Grant funding for students who pursue scientific research related to their graduate or doctoral studies.
  • Support Governor’s proposals like the Summer Institutes of Math and Science for students and the Math and Science Teacher Initiative.

“I believe that if we offer strong incentives for our students such as a State Science Fair with scholarships as prizes, E-TAP money awarded to those in the desired majors, or even loan forgiveness programs that New York state will see a tremendous increase in math and science majors in colleges,” Oaks concluded. “New York state, and the country as a whole, must again become leaders in science and technology. It is a fitting way to honor Thomas Edison’s scientific legacy by ensuring our own scientific future in our region and the rest of the state for generations to come.”