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July 26, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Jacky Rosen (NV-03) released the following statement after introducing H.R. 3397 the “Building Blocks of STEM Act” a bipartisan bill to enhance the learning and teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) for students under the age of 11.

“With tech companies like Tesla, SWITCH, and Google leading the way to create the jobs of the future across our state, the demand for a highly skilled workforce could not be higher right now,” said Congresswoman Rosen. “I built my own career as a computer programmer for major companies in Southern Nevada, and that’s why I want to find ways to invest in our students at an early age by encouraging them to take an interest in STEM subjects in school. Building the blocks for careers in STEM will prepare Nevadans for better jobs and help us to meet the demands of our 21st century economy.”

“Investing in our children and their futures is always an opportunity for good. Expanding the reach of our STEM education programs to children of all ages will create a greater future in innovation and technological systems,” said Congressman Steve Knight (R-CA). These expansions will guarantee endless opportunities in education and encourage young entrepreneurs to explore new ideas in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. I am proud to join my colleague, Rep. Jacky Rosen (NV-03), as an original co-sponsor of this bipartisan legislation.”

“Rep. Rosen’s legislation addresses the issue at the root of the STEM education by investing in our children at an early age in elementary and middle school,” said Dr. Rama Venkat, Dean of UNLV’s College of Engineering. “I’m confident that the “Building Blocks of STEM Act” will help inspire young students in our elementary and middle schools, better preparing them for the challenges that we continue to face in an ever growing technologically advanced society and economy.  As dean of UNLV Engineering, I wholeheartedly support the Congresswoman’s bill.”

BACKGROUND: 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 careers later on in life.

H.R. 3397 would direct the NSF to more equitably allocate funding for research in the Discovery Research PreK-12 (DRK-12) program to studies with a focus on early childhood (under age 11). This bill directs NSF to take a strategic approach and consider age when awarding grants – with the goal of increasing research towards early childhood. “Building Blocks of STEM Act” is a bipartisan bill co-led by Rep. Steve Knight (R-CA), a fellow Member of the House Science, Space, and Technology (SST) Committee.

View full text of the bill here.