SWE Urges Biden Administration to Champion STEM Education Efforts

On March 12, 2021, SWE—along with many other societies, organizations and companies—signed onto a letter to President Biden urging him to to use his White House “bully pulpit” to the maximum extent possible to highlight the critical role that learning in the STEM subjects plays in advancing our country’s technological leadership and economic future. See the letter below.

March 12, 2021 

Dear Mr. President: 

On behalf of our broad community of organizations united in the goal of advancing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, we are writing to urge you to use your White House “bully pulpit” to the maximum extent possible to highlight the critical role that learning in the STEM subjects plays in advancing our country’s technological leadership and economic future. 

We applaud your Administration for making investments in education a central element of the Build It Back Better agenda to promote U.S. prosperity and innovation in an increasingly competitive, technology-driven world. Over the course of the past year, enormous, longstanding gaps in educational attainment and equity and have become visible and been exacerbated by our response to COVID and its impacts on the education system, especially for our youngest and most high-need students. Reopening our schools safely must be a priority to get the country back on its feet and headed towards a future where every child will have a chance to learn the skills they need to succeed in the evolving modern world – which are overwhelmingly in the STEM fields. 

Excellence in STEM should be embraced as a bedrock element in conquering the challenges of today and tomorrow, including protecting human health, modernizing our infrastructure, harnessing the data revolution, digital skills, and computer science, protecting our environment and fostering equity for those who have been underserved by our communities. American recovery from COVID and its economic disruptions demands having a world-class and equitable education system that broadens authentic participation in STEM to all communities of learners and enables them to compete successfully for the best jobs of the future 

Your personal leadership is an essential element in sending our students and teachers the message that excellence in the STEM subjects is a crucial national priority and is accessible to all. To this end, we would encourage you to: 

  • Re-launch the White House Science and Engineering Fair and other similar events such as Maker Faires, Hour of Code, Future City Competition, and Astronomy Night; 
  • Recognize Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching winners and other teaching and student leadership awards at the White House; 
  • Personally visit science and technology agencies and facilities across the federal government and public schools with excellent STEM programs, especially those in underserved communities; 
  • Attend a space launch; 
  • Elevate and praise the winners of national competitive STEM team events such as robotics competitions, Science Olympiads, transportation technology, building design, and other similar teamwork events in the same manner as the winners of the Super Bowl and World Series. 

Whether virtual or in-person once conditions permit, these types of events – and the President’s personal presence at them – send a huge signal about the United States’ commitment to the importance of science, technology, engineering and math and the importance these subjects – and equity and diversity within these fields – to our future. 

Unfortunately, during the COVID pandemic, far too many schools have turned away from a strong focus on the STEM subjects as they have struggled to maintain their operations with insufficient federal support. This shift has happened even more acutely at the PK-5 level, where there hasn’t been a sufficient STEM emphasis for many years. 

We need to reverse this trend before a generation of students falls behind in the knowledge and skills they will need to support our recovery, achieve equity, and propel us forward. Your personal and visible leadership in elevating the profile of education in the critical STEM subjects will have a meaningful impact toward this goal, as will prioritizing funding for federal programs that are essential to student success in STEM subjects in your first budget. 

Respectfully, 

  • STEM Education Coalition 
  • National Science Teaching Association 
  • Universal Technical Institute 
  • American Chemical Society 
  • Hands on Science Partnership 
  • American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education 
  • Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers 
  • American Society for Engineering Education 
  • American Society of Landscape Architects 
  • National Consortium of Secondary STEM Schools 
  • Microsoft 
  • National Council of Teachers of Mathematics 
  • North American Association for Environmental Education 
  • Afterschool Alliance 
  • Society of Women Engineers 
  • Battelle 
  • STEMx 
  • Education Development Center 
  • Campaign for Environmental Literacy 
  • Association of Science Technology Centers 
  • National Society of Black Engineers 
  • FIRST® 
  • IBM 
  • Qualcomm Incorporated 
  • National Science Education Leadership Association 
  • Council of State Science Supervisors 
  • New York Hall of Science 
  • 100Kin10 
  • North Carolina State University 
  • Vernier Software & Technology 
  • STEM Next Opportunity Fund 
  • CompTIA 
  • Texas Tech University 
  • Girls Inc. 
  • Delaware State University 
  • ITEEA – International Technology and Engineering Educators Association 
  • ASME 
  • National Center for Women & Information Technology 
  • American Modeling Teachers Association 
  • National Association of Secondary School Principals 
  • American Council of Engineering Companies 
  • AGU 
  • National STEM Honor Society 
  • SAE International 
  • American Mathematical Society 
  • STEMPilot 
  • Center for STEM Education, University of NC at Charlotte 
  • Mentoring Youth Through Technology 
  • Destination Imagination, Inc. 
  • NEPA STEM Ecosystem of Pennsylvania 
  • Youth Science Center 
  • Defined Learning 
  • The Goddard School 
  • Thinking Media – Learning Blade 
  • Start Engineering 
  • Philadelphia Education Fund 
  • Philadelphia STEM Ecosystem 
  • Pennsylvania Statewide STEM Ecosystem 
  • Apast 
  • The Academy of Science – St. Louis 
  • Building STEAM Bridges / STEAM 4 Parents 
  • ENGINE of Central PA STEM Learning Ecosystem 
  • Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University 
  • Texas Girls Collaborative Project 
  • Rent-A-Theme Entertainment 
  • Visions Academy 
  • Stemnastics LLC 
  • Bytes For Bits 
  • Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Inglewood Graduate Chapter (Phi Beta Beta) 
  • SOSSI- Saving Our Sons & Sisters International 
  • Philadelphia Regional Institute for STEM Educators 
  • Minnesota Science Teachers Association 
  • Minnesota Earth Science Teachers Association 
  • Minnesota Academy of Science 
  • Rural Activation Innovation Network – RAIN 
  • Bisbee Science Lab 
  • Arizona Computer Science for All 
  • Botanical Society of America 
  • Vermont Afterschool 
  • Wisconsin Afterschool Network 
  • ProjectEngin LLC 
  • Challenger K8 School 
  • Nevada Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation and Technology 
  • Beyond School Bells 
  • Hoover City Schools 
  • Hughes STEM High School 
  • Edventure More (EDMO®) 
  • VisualRealization.com 
  • IEEE/CAP 
  • Center for STEM Education, University of North Carolina at Charlotte 
  • South Shade Crest Elementary School 
  • 21st Century Energy 
  • ITEEA-International Technology and Engineering Educators Association 
  • Avila Media NFP 
  • Sci Math Mn 
  • Deer Valley Elementary School, Hoover, AL 
  • Northern Tier Counseling Inc 
  • STEM Learning Design, LLC 
  • AIMS Center for Math and Science Education 
  • Ohio Technology and Engineering Educators Association 
  • Avila Media NFP 
  • Pinnacle Academy 
  • The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art & Technology 
  • North Dakota STEM Ecosystem 
  • Gateway to Science Center Inc. 
  • Greater Oregon STEM Hub 

View this letter as a PDF.


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