President Obama has called for major reforms to the education system to increase the amount of science and technology being taught, and raise the next generation of technologists.
Obama said during a Town Hall meeting at the headquarters of Facebook in Palo Alto involving questions from the public and Facebook staff, that he constantly hears from Silicon Valley that the country is short of engineers and scientists, and that this showed a failing in the current system.
"We need to get more girls in science, more minorities and more new students all round," he said.
"We need to make science cool, we want people to feel about the next clean energy source the way the last generation felt about the space race. We need to buckle down and get this done."
Schools are now being rewarded with funding if they improve their education systems under the Race for the Top programme, but there is still more that needs to be done.
Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said that Race for the Top is one of the most important initiatives of the Obama's administration so far.
Immigration also needs to be reformed, Obama said, to ensure that people who come to the US to work and develop new companies stay in the country and create jobs.
"We want more Andy Groves here. We don't want the next Intel to be started in China. High skilled immigrants come here to study, so let's make sure they can stay and invest in America," he said, alluding to Andy Grove, a Hungarian immgrant who went on to co-found Intel.
Obama also took time to criticise Republican budget proposals, which would see a quarter cut from the education budget, and the loss of 70 per cent of funding for clean energy research. Such plans risk sending the country back into recession, he said.
The president pointed out that the US faces key challenges in new technology development. The US had two per cent of the world's advanced battery research whan Obama took office, and this is key to the future of the technology industry.
Targeted investment in clean power, energy storage and next-generation wireless and wired services is needed, he said.
The entire day's video has been posted on the Facebook Live site.
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