SAN FRANCISCO -- Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson made a play for Silicon Valley support Thursday by calling for more science and math education. Tech itself, he said, can be used to spur interest in those fields.
How so? Using “Internet-based virtual-reality classrooms where we can put the very best teachers in front of a million students,” Carson said in a prerecorded video message played at the CloudFlare Internet Summit.
Carson said the U.S. is behind other industrialized nations when it comes to science, technology, engineering and math, otherwise known as STEM education. He said using virtual-reality classrooms could spark the interests of young students and get them motivated to go into tech fields.
With these kinds of classrooms “we can have people actually asking questions and exploring areas: They’re running around the Egyptian pyramids through the virtual reality classroom,” Carson said. “They could actually go to the Egyptian pyramids and explore the chambers.
This is where we’re going with Internet-based learning in the future,” Carson said. “It’ll help us not only catch up in STEM areas but really accelerate and take our rightful place of leadership in the world.”
Though many of the 2016 presidential candidates are using social media to reach voters, few have taken the time to address Silicon Valley’s problems. One of those issues is the lack of people coming through public and higher education that are ready to take on jobs in the tech industry. By taking the time to record and send a video to CloudFlare on this matter, Carson is hoping to let the tech industry know that he is aware of Silicon Valley’s issues and thinking about how to solve them.
CloudFlare reached out to a number of individuals in government and politics, but Carson was the only presidential candidate to respond. The Internet summit, however, did feature videos from the likes of Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler and former Vice President Al Gore.
“I was very disappointed we didn’t get a Donald Trump video,” joked CloudFlare CEO Matthew Prince following the airing of Carson’s video. Both the Carson and Trump campaigns use CloudFlare to protect their websites from denial of service attacks, the company said.