Will.i.am doesn’t mind being a pop star, but in his opinion, science is where it’s really at.
The Black Eyed Peas singer stated that, though he means “no disrespect to [his] fellow musicians,” he is distressed “that American culture celebrates athletes and pop stars because they are cool, exciting and glamourous.” He continued, “As a nation, everyone should be celebrating kids who are smart, have found their spark, and have a thirst for knowledge in STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics].”
To put his money where his Grammy-award-winning mouth is, will.i.am teamed up with inventor Dean Kamen to present i.am.FIRST, a combination rock concert and science competition promoting STEM. This summer, i.am.FIRST hosted a science contest called Wouldn’t It Be Cool If…, which challenged kids to think of everyday problems that could be solved using science and technology.
Speaking of cool, will.i.am was also the first recording artist to have his music played on another planet. That’s right, in August, his song, “Reach For The Stars,” was broadcast from the Curiosity rover on Mars. Coolness aside, Will says his real mission is to promote STEM education. He explained, “This is about inspiring young people to lead a life without limits placed on their potential and to pursue collaboration between humanity and technology”. Consider us inspired!