New York's U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Joe Kennedy of Massachusetts, Tuesday introduced new legislation aimed at encouraging women, minorities and economically disadvantaged students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
The STEM Gateways Act would provide grants for classroom learning, career preparation, mentoring, internships, informal learning and other appropriate educational activities, Gillibrand announced.
"New York is home to the greatest colleges and universities, and the world's most innovative minds," stated Gillibrand. "But if we're going to compete and win in the global economy, we must prepare our students with the education they need for the jobs of the future. That starts with getting more talented young women, minorities, and students in high-need communities into the STEM pipeline."
The STEM Gateways Act would provide funding through the U.S. Department of Education to help schools implement rigorous STEM academics, with a focus on reaching underrepresented groups. Selected elementary and secondary schools in partnership with community colleges, non-profits, and other partner organizations would be able to use federal funding to support STEM, classroom activities, extracurricular and after-school learning, summer programs, student tutoring and mentoring, and professional development for educators, the release said. Such focused efforts on expanding STEM opportunities for girls, minorities and economically disadvantaged students will broaden and strengthen the pipeline of American STEM workers.