DARPA wants more American geeks. Not just to create more remote-controlled cyborg beetles, but to secure the future of our country.
Right now, DARPA says, America's "ability to compete in the increasingly internationalized stage will be hindered without college graduates with the ability to understand and innovate cutting edge technologies in the decades to come Finding the right people with increasingly specialized talent is becoming more difficult and will continue to add risk to a wide range of DoD [Department of Defense] systems that include software development."
To help give developing geeks a little push, DARPA is advocating extracurricular programs "targeted to middle and high school students" that will "maintain a positive, long-term presence in a student's education." What kind of extracurricular programs? It's unclear just yet, though the government agency wants to start up career days, lab tours, mentoring and more that would help show nerdy youngin's that all those swirlies are worth it, if they stay the course.