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Golf Great Phil Mickelson Stresses Value of Math, Science; Demonstrates to Students How They Influence Golf


Phil Mickelson, the No. 2-ranked pro golfer in the world, visited the U.S. Department of Education Tuesday to emphasize the value of math and science by showing students from Quantico, Fort Belvoir and Washington, D.C., how those subjects influence golf.

In front of a temporary mini-golf course on the floor of the Education Department headquarters, Mickelson demonstrated how friction, motion and angles all contribute to the direction a golf ball rolls.

On hand for a “Phil Mickelson/ExxonMobil Mini Golf Camp” at the U.S. Department of Education were U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings and about two dozen elementary students from the Quantico Marine Base, Fort Belvoir and the district. Tom Luce, president of the National Math and Science Initiative, and Ken Cohen, vice president for public affairs, ExxonMobil Corp., also appeared.

“We are grateful to Phil Mickelson and his wife Amy for helping raise public awareness about the value of students learning hands-on math and science skills,” Secretary Spellings said. “We live in an increasingly technology-driven world in which America’ competitiveness will depend on the foundation that math and science provide.”

Fresh from competing in the British Open, Mickelson’s appearance was meant to highlight the importance of math and science education in America’s global competitiveness. The golfer known as “Lefty” helps sponsor the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teacher Academy which gives teachers practical, hands-on ways of making science and math interesting in their classrooms.

The academy’s annual “summer camps” have trained nearly 1,200 teachers. “Amy and I are proud to partner with ExxonMobil on the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy to help bolster teachers’ knowledge of math and science and equip them with new tools to teach these subjects,” Mickelson said. “Our goal for the academy is to help teachers discover new ways to teach math and science so they can inspire today’s students to become tomorrow’s innovators.”

Ken Cohen, vice president for public affairs at Exxon Mobil Corporation said, “Since its launch in 2004, the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy has been a tremendous success. More than 1,000 teachers nationwide, with the potential to impact over 30,000 students, have had the opportunity to further develop and strengthen their math and science teaching skills at this week-long professional development program.”


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