At this very moment, NextFest is opening up to 10,000 L.A. schoolchildren. Geeks are an endangered species these days here in the States, so anything we can do as a society to encourage geekdom, the better of we'll be. We need future generations to keep buying that mint condition Star Wars memorabilia so my AT-AT keeps appreciating.
By getting them interested in math, science, and technology at an early age, we combat the inexplicable uncoolness of math, science, and technology. And hopefully we can correct the dearth of U.S. students studying it. As a country, we've long benefited from the immigrants who've come to our universities or our research labs. Many of them decided it wouldn't be a bad place to stick around and start a family. These days, I suspect fewer are applying to our schools, and those that do are less willing to stay.
It could just be because there is more opportunity back home, or living there is just more appealing, but given our pitiful international math & science ranking
*, something needs to be done.
NextFest is obviously not the solution, but every little bit helps. A guy just flew in on a jetpack. You should have seen these kids' faces...
*Kids, the lesson here is that if the going gets tough -- quit,