The Educating Tomorrow’s Engineers Act (ETEA), introduced as H.R. 2426, S. 1178 in June 2013, recently gained five new congressional cosponsors as well as additional organizational supporters. Thirty-five organizations, including Triangle Coalition and many of its members, have signed on in support of the bill. Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY), who originally introduced ETEA with Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), circulated a “Dear Colleague” letter at the end of July inviting fellow members of Congress to cosponsor. “This legislation is an important step in ensuring that STEM skills allow our workforce to continue to lead the global economy, and that they become accessible to children in every school in every zip code across our country,” writes Tonko. In the House, ETEA now has 19 co-sponsors, four of whom are republicans.
ETEA would amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to encourage states to integrate engineering skills and practices into existing K-12 science standards – without needing to establish a separate set of standards or duplicate existing STEM programs. Its goals include enhancing student achievement in STEM subjects; building knowledge and competency in engineering skills; increasing the number of teachers prepared to teach engineering design, and the number and diversity of students planning to pursue a career in engineering.
This legislation would potentially impact K-12 classroom instruction by: exposing more students to engineering; ensuring teachers have the tools and support they need to teach these skills; providing states and schools more flexibility to direct current federal funding toward engineering education; and promoting federal research in engineering education. To learn more, read the summary and full text of the Educating Tomorrow’s Engineers Act.
If your organization would like to support this bill, please contact Amanda Guelzow at Triangle Coalition at email@example.com for further details.