Today, Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-05) led the introduction of a bipartisan bill with Congressman David B. McKinley (WV-01) to expand opportunities for hands-on learning in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. The Supporting STEM Learning Opportunities Act would invest in engaging learning opportunities to strengthen the pipeline of students entering the STEM workforce, especially from traditionally underrepresented groups including women and communities of color. The legislation aims to address shortages in STEM expertise and spur economic development.
"Building the next generation of leaders starts with bolstering equitable access to STEM education, especially for girls and students of color who are overwhelmingly underrepresented in the field. The Supporting STEM Learning Opportunities Act will invest in hands on learning to ensure the pipeline of STEM workers is available and ready today, tomorrow, and beyond," said Congresswoman Hayes. "In Connecticut's Fifth District, many businesses are responding to current labor shortages by adapting to new technologies -- in turn creating innovative career opportunities. Equipping students with a well-rounded STEM education will position them to seamlessly step into these jobs."
"As one of only two professional engineers serving in Congress, I understand expanding opportunities for hands-on STEM education is essential to America's future," said Congressman McKinley. "Creating STEM opportunities for young people will help address workforce challenges in growing high tech industries and ensure we can compete with China."
Specifically, the Supporting STEM Learning Opportunities Act would:
Authorize $25 million per fiscal year through 2026 to provide effective and engaging means for teaching STEM concepts to K-12 students; and
Prioritize programs serving high percentages of students who are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.
Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) are leading the Senate companion of this bill.