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SST Committee Approves Bipartisan STEM Education Bills

Nov 15, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON - The U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, chaired by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), today unanimously approved four bills relating to science, technology, engineering, math and computer science (STEM) education. The STEM Research and Education Effectiveness and Transparency Act (H.R. 4375) was introduced by Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), chairwoman of the Research and Technology Subcommittee. The Supporting Veterans in STEM Careers Act (H.R. 4323) was introduced by Rep. Neal Dunn (R-Fla.). The Women in Aerospace Education Act (H.R. 4254) was introduced by Rep. Steve Knight (R-Calif.), vice chairman of the Energy Subcommittee. The Building Blocks of STEM Act (H.R. 3397) was introduced by Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.).

Chairman Smith: “STEM education and career development is the key to enhancing the workforce of today – and tomorrow – and to ensuring U.S. leadership in technology and innovation. Today’s Committee passage of these bipartisan bills empowers us to assess the effectiveness of NSF’s STEM education programs and have more transparent data about federal grants. Jointly, these bills also support early childhood STEM education research, strengthen aerospace workforce opportunities for women, and promote veterans’ involvement in STEM programs. I appreciate my colleagues’ work on this legislation, and I look forward to considering these bills on the House Floor.”

Chairwoman Comstock: “In order to have a vibrant economy that provides opportunity and prosperity for all, we need to develop the talent of all Americans in STEM fields. By requiring NSF to report and make recommendations to Congress regarding the effectiveness of its research and education programs, we will be able to better understand which programs are effectively broadening the participation of women and historically underrepresented individuals in STEM. Graduates in STEM fields have the potential to develop technologies that could save lives, jump-start new industries or lead productive lives as scientists, engineers, astronauts, mathematicians or many other STEM careers. I thank my colleague Ranking Member Johnson for her leadership on this issue and look forward to working together to get this passed into law.”

Rep. Dunn: “This bill is a common-sense step to honor our commitment to America’s veterans. It also will bring highly trained service members into innovative STEM fields and help keep America’s economy on the cutting edge. I commend Chairman Lamar Smith on his leadership in broadening opportunities in STEM fields for our veterans.”

Vice Chairman Knight: “If we are to remain competitive in this increasingly dynamic and competitive global economy, it's essential that we promote STEM education and careers in our youth. The Women in Aerospace Education Act, along with the Building Blocks of STEM Act, of which I am proud to co-lead with Congresswoman Rosen, will ensure our young minds are equipped with the knowledge and experience to lead our industry into the future.”

Background

Chairwoman Comstock’s STEM Research and Education Effectiveness and Transparency Act provides for a study and report on broadening participation in certain National Science Foundation (NSF) research and education programs and requires more data on federal research grant applications. It was introduced on November 13, 2017. The bill text can be found here.

Rep. Dunn’s Supporting Veterans in STEM Careers Act promotes veterans’ involvement in STEM education, computer science and scientific research. It was introduced on November 9, 2017. The bill text can be found here.

Vice Chairman Knight’s Women in Aerospace Education Act amends the NSF Authorization Act to strengthen the aerospace workforce pipeline for women through the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program and NASA internship and fellowship opportunities. It was introduced on November 6, 2017. The bill text, amended to provide fellows and scholars research and intern experience at national labs and NASA centers, can be found here.

Rep. Rosen’s Building Blocks of STEM Act directs NSF to support STEM education research focused on early childhood. It was introduced on July 25, 2017. During markup, Chairwoman Comstock added provisions to the bill to award grants to encourage young girls’ participation in computer science and to update the NSF Noyce Teacher Scholarship program to include informatics. The amended bill text can be found here.

Letters of support for these bills can be found here.

115th Congress