Bi-partisan Bill to increase participation for girls in STEM passes House and Senate with SWE Support

The Building Blocks of STEM Act passed the House of Representatives and Senate and awaits the President’s signature to become law. Legislation would expand the research capacity of the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund research that would increase participation in STEM for girls.

First introduced by Congresswoman Haley Stevens (D – MI), the bill was eventually sponsored in the Senate by Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), and Deb Fischer (R-NE).

As stated in the summary of the bill’s congress.gov profile, this bill will modify NSF grant programs that fund STEM education. Specifically, it will improve research on early childhood education; this will allow us to better understand the role of teachers and caregivers in promoting STEM and identify what STEM activities encourage participation in students underrepresented within STEM fields.

SWE’s Executive Director & CEO, Karen Horting, met with Congresswoman Stevens in the fall of 2019 to show support for the legislation. “This legislation is the type of action we work with Congress to achieve,” says Horting. “In order to increase the participation of girls in STEM, we must understand, through research, the barriers and obstacles they face along with the interventions that give them success. I look forward to seeing how this expansion of NSF’s work will eventually help us keep our future leaders in STEM fields.”

SWE also officially endorsed this legislation while it was being considered in the House and Senate. To view a full list of all federal legislation supported by SWE, please view the Federal Legislation Tracker on the public policy section of SWE’s Website.

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