House Lawmakers Call For Better STEM Education
The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology held a Research and Technology subcommittee hearing on Wednesday to explore the future of STEM and computer science education in the United States to prepare today’s youth for much-needed science and engineering jobs.
Citing American students’ 19th (science) and 31st (mathematics) rank out of 35 countries, committee Chairman Lamar Smith (TX-21) advocated the need to “capture and hold the desire of our nation’s youth to study science and engineering so they will want to pursue these careers.” His STEM Education Act of 2015 (P.L.114-5) encourages students to enter STEM fields. Currently, only 25 percent of America’s STEM workforce is female, which is why Chairwoman Barbara Comstock (VA-10) introduced the INSPIRE Women Act (P.L.115-7), which was signed into law earlier this year and “leverages NASA’s talent pool of current and retired astronauts, and early career female scientists, engineers, and innovators to inform and inspire young women to pursue their dreams in STEM subjects.” Committee Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30) also pointed out the need to increase opportunities for underrepresented minorities as well as women. Witnesses and both sides of the aisle were highly supportive of building our STEM workforce and creating new educational opportunities for students.