U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation, participated in a student led tour last week of Lomie G. Heard Elementary School, to visit the school’s robotics and coding classrooms. During the tour, Senator Rosen discussed her bipartisan and bicameral Building Blocks of STEM Act, which she introduced in the Senate last week.
“I had a wonderful time visiting with the students of Heard Elementary School and getting a chance to see first-hand the way that STEAM education has been implemented in the school’s classrooms,” said Senator Rosen. “I introduced my Building Blocks of STEM Act in the Senate [last week] so that all of Nevada’s children, particularly young girls, are able to learn about opportunities in STEM fields. My bill would benefit schools just like this one, by providing them access to grants for encouraging young girls to study STEM. I’m confident that increasing access to early childhood STEM education will prepare our children for the careers of the future.”
On March 12th, Senator Rosen introduced the bipartisan Building Blocks of STEM Act which would create and expand upon STEM education initiatives at the National Science Foundation (NSF) for young children, including new research grants to increase the participation of girls in computer science.
Studies have found that children who engage in scientific activities from an early age develop positive attitudes toward science and are more likely to pursue STEM expertise and careers later on. Last Congress, Rosen introduced similar legislation to focus National Science Foundation (NSF) STEM education programming on young children and to award grants to encourage young girls to pursue computer science learning. The bipartisan Building Blocks of STEM Act (H.R. 3397), introduced in the 115th Congress by then-Representative Jacky Rosen and Representative Steve Knight (R-CA), would direct NSF to more equitably distribute funding for early childhood education in its Discovery Research PreK-12 program, which seeks to enhance the learning and teaching of STEM and address the immediate challenges that are facing PreK-12 STEM education. Currently, the Discovery Research PreK-12 program focuses the majority of its research on students in middle school and older. This year’s Senate bill also includes Rosen’s bipartisan Code Like a Girl Act (H.R. 3316) from the 115th Congress, which would direct NSF to award research grants to increase understanding of the factors that contribute to the participation of young girls in STEM activities and to develop interventions in pre-K and elementary school classrooms to increase the participation of young girls in computer science. Last Congress, Rosen’s combined package of STEM education bills unanimously passed the House but failed to receive a vote in the Senate.
The Building Blocks of STEM Act is endorsed by Girl Scouts of the USA, Save the Children Action Network, American Association of University Women (AAUW), National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE), National Organization for Women, Stop Sexual Assault in Schools (SSAIS),Girls, Inc., BSA The Software Alliance, the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), and Code.org.
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