My advice to those kids, and to all kids, is to keep thinking outside the box, think up, and work on, solutions that seem unconventional. Because it is the unconventional people just like them who have moved STEM fields forward, and it will be the unconventional thinkers like them who will continue to do so.
If we don't strengthen our support of scientific research, the engine of innovation that gave our nation a competitive edge in the last century may lose steam. A "refuel" is in order to keep our job-stimulating innovation engine on pace. America's economic competitors are moving to increase their own investments, and it would be incredibly short-sighted to fall behind.
Thirty-two of the country's best and brightest have just been named to the inaugural class of Andrew Carnegie Fellows -- scholars (many of them emerging scholars), journalists, and authors. Their charge: to provide important new perspectives on current and future challenges to American democracy and international order.