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February 13, 2018
Press Release

View the Congresswoman’s Floor Remarks here

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, Congresswoman Jacky Rosen (NV-03) announced that two bipartisan bills she introduced this Congress to improve STEM education unanimously passed the House of Representatives as one combined bill. The Building Blocks of STEM Act, H.R. 3397, directs the National Science Foundation to more equitably allocate funding for research in the Discovery Research PreK-12 (DRK-12) program to studies with a focus on early childhood. The Code Like a Girl Act, H.R. 3316, creates two National Science Foundation grants to research and fund computer science programs that encourage early childhood education in STEM for girls under the age of 11. The combined bill is now awaiting action in the U.S. Senate.

“I'm proud to see both of my STEM education proposals pass the House with wide bipartisan support,” said Congresswoman Rosen. “This legislation will help Nevada’s students by investing in our children so they can meet the challenges of a changing economy that increasingly relies on highly-skilled labor and technology. I will continue to advocate for smart investments in STEM education so we can build a more effective workforce that helps America's economy stay globally competitive.”

“I’m very proud of the work my colleagues and I have done to pass the Building Blocks of STEM Act,” said Congressman Steve Knight, Republican co-lead of H.R. 3397. “Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are the future of the world economy, and it is imperative that we equip younger generations with the tools they’ll need to be competitive. This bill will go a long way to spark passions in these fields in our brightest young minds. I want to thank Rep. Rosen for her partnership in introducing this bill with me and our fellow co-sponsors.”

"I'm pleased to see this legislation pass that includes language I coauthored to encourage more young girls to pursue careers in computer science," said Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, Republican co-lead of H.R. 3316. "Computer science professionals are needed in almost every industry and field, and it's critical that we ensure young women have the skills they need to pursue these exciting careers."

“STEM and computer science industries are rapidly becoming the most in demand fields and yet, at almost every step of the STEM education path, women and girls walk away,” said Kim Churches, chief executive officer of the American Association of University Women (AAUW). “Any serious attempts to build and strengthen our science workforce must include substantive efforts to broaden participation to include women and girls. AAUW is proud to support Congresswoman Rosen’s endeavor to increase girls’ access to these fields and applauds the House of Representatives for taking the first step toward breaking down barriers faced by women and girls in STEM and computer science.”

“Technology is continuing to impact the way we live our lives, and at Girl Scouts, we want girls to have the tech skills to be the creators, designers, inventors in this tech driven world. STEM is the future, and we want girls to be part of creating that future,” said Sylvia Acevedo, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA. “Together, this legislation will encourage more girls to pursue an interest in STEM and will continue to build the female STEM pipeline. As Girl Scouts, we are proud to provide the premier STEM leadership experiences in the world for girls, and we are grateful to Congress for their vision and their work on this vital topic for the future of our nation.”

BACKGROUND: The bipartisan Building Blocks of STEM Act (H.R. 3397), co-led by Reps. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Steve Knight (R-CA), would direct the National Science Foundation (NSF) to include 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.

H.R. 3397 came to the House floor after unanimously passing out of the House Science, Space, & Technology Committee, of which Reps. Rosen and Knight are Members. In committee, the text of Rep. Rosen's other bipartisan STEM bill -- the Code Like a Girl Act (H.R. 3316) -- was added to H.R. 3397. Introduced alongside Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), the Code Like a Girl Act would create two NSF grant programs to encourage young girls to pursue computer science: one to understand what contributes to the participation of young girls under 11 in STEM and computer science, and one to develop and evaluate interventions in Pre-K and elementary school classrooms, with the goal of increasing girls’ participation.