Thursday, 12 December, 2013

STEM Gateways Act Introduced to Promote STEM among Underserved Groups

On Tuesday, Senator Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) and Congressman Joe Kennedy (D-MA) introduced a new STEM education bill to promote and encourage opportunities specifically for underrepresented groups. The STEM Gateways Act (S. 1796, H.R. 3690), co-sponsored by Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA), would provide competitive grants through the Department of Education for elementary and secondary schools and community partners to implement rigorous STEM education programs serving women, minorities and economically disadvantaged students.

Funds could be used to support both formal and informal STEM learning and other education activities including teacher professional development, career preparation, mentoring, and internships. Programs would have to support one or more of the following goals:

  1. Encourage interest in the STEM fields at the elementary school or secondary school levels.
  2. Motivate engagement in STEM fields by providing relevant hands-on learning opportunities at the elementary school and secondary school levels.
  3. Support classroom success in STEM disciplines at the elementary school or secondary school levels.
  4. Support workforce training and career preparation in STEM fields at the secondary school level.
  5. Improve access to career and continuing education opportunities in STEM fields at the secondary school level

“New York is home to the greatest colleges and universities, and the world’s most innovative minds,” said Sen. Gillibrand. “But if we’re going to compete and win in the global economy, we must prepare our students with the education they need for the jobs of the future. That starts with getting more talented young women, minorities, and students in high-need communities into the STEM pipeline. We are relying on our children today to be the innovators of tomorrow. It’s our job to make sure they are prepared.”

Read the full text for the STEM Gateways Act here.

The sponsors of this bill are currently seeking support from stakeholders. If your organization would like to support this bill or learn more, please contact Caroline.Darmody@mail.house.gov in Rep. Kennedy’s office.

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