[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1997, Book I)]
[January 22, 1997]
[Pages 55-56]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Remarks at Stanley Field Middle School in Northbrook, Illinois
January 22, 1997

    The President. I was just thinking, if I had had a class like this 
when I was their age, I might have gotten into a different line of work. 
[Laughter] This is fascinating. Thank you very much, guys. I'm glad you 
learned about Newton's laws doing this, and I'm glad you learned how to 
do this.
    I just thought of something--you should know too, one of you made 
the point about conservation of materials. Interestingly enough, in many 
manufacturing enterprises today, that's one of the major sources of 
adding productivity and profitability to the enterprise. Being 
environmentally responsible is just learning how to continue to get more 
and more and more output out of fewer and fewer raw materials. And that 
applies not only to stable materials like that but also to energy input. 
So a big part of what technology and learning is doing to all kinds of 
production is allowing people to produce more output of products and 
services with fewer

[[Page 56]]

material input. Very interesting, so I'm glad you did it.

[At this point, Secretary of Education Richard Riley commented on 
standards in education, and then the students continued their 

    The President. The one thing I would say to you--we have to go, but 
you are going to live in the most exciting period of time in human 
history, in terms of what people can do with their minds and their 
imaginations and what people can do on their own. It's going to be a 
very, very exciting time. But it will only be an exciting time for 
people who can access it. That's why the learning is so important.
    Someday you may be building--one of you may be building trains that 
go 500 miles an hour, that people get in, and therefore, then, they 
don't pollute the air. And they all travel together, so they can read 
while they're studying during their commute times. You may be doing 
things you can't even imagine now because of what you're learning.
    And that's the thing I would emphasize. You can't imagine what 
someday you might be doing with what you're just now learning here. And 
I envy you in that way. I think that the 21st century will be a time of 
enormous possibility for young people like you, and all you really need 
to tap it is a great education. And I'm glad you're getting it.
    Thank you.
    Teacher. I know they can do it. Well, thank you so much. We're very 
pleased to have you come.
    The President. I'm glad to see you. Thank you.
    Teacher. Thank you for coming.
    The President. I wish I could see all the cars driving. What you 
should do, you should make a movie of this. You should have everybody--
inspire classes all over America.

Note: The President spoke at 11:05 a.m. in the eighth grade science