Legislation would jumpstart NSF grants, K-12 outreach programs that increase interest & retention in STEM fields
Thursday, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, introduced the Women and Minorities in STEM Booster Act, legislation that would provide support to increase the number of women and minorities entering STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. This bill would authorize the National Science Foundation to award competitive grants for outreach, mentoring, and professional development programs that support the recruitment and retention of women and minorities in STEM fields. The legislation also authorizes funding for STEM education outreach programs at the elementary and secondary school level in order to strengthen and diversify the pipeline of future STEM professionals.
“If we’re going to truly empower young women to compete in the 21st century economy, it’s crucial that we have the federal commitments necessary to support their recruitment and retention in the STEM fields,” said Murray. “STEM skills are so important for Washington state’s economy – one of the many reasons why I made sure that the Every Student Succeeds Act helps states and school districts to support programs and activities that improve student achievement in STEM subjects. I’m proud to continue these efforts with the STEM Booster Act, so that we can inspire young women and students of color to enter the STEM fields with the support and resources they need to succeed.”
The Women and Minorities in STEM Booster Act is supported by the American Association of University Women; Association of Women’s Business Centers; Association of Women in Science; Girl Scouts of the USA; Girls, Inc.; National Action Council for Minority Engineers; National Council of Asian Pacific Americans; National Society for Black Engineers; Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science; Southeast Asia Resource Action Center; Society of Women Engineers; STEMConnector/Million Women Mentors; and Women in Public Policy.
The legislation is co-sponsored by Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Martin Henrich (D-NM), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Representatives Madeline Z. Bordallo (D-GU), Matt Cartwright (D-PA), Judy Chu (D-CA), Katherine Clark (D-MA), Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), Donna Edwards (D-MD), Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Bill Foster (D-IL), Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL), Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Mike Honda (D-CA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), William R. Keating (D-MA), James R. Langevin (D-RI), Rick Larsen (D-WA), Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH), Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Charles B. Rangel (D-NY), C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), Tim Ryan (D-OH), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Mark Takano (D-CA), and Frederica Wilson (D-FL).
Click here for text of the Women and Minorities in STEM Booster Act.