Rep. Stevens Introduces First Bill, the Building Blocks of STEM Act
WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Haley Stevens (MI-11) introduced her first bill as a Member of Congress, the Building Blocks of STEM Act (H.R. 1665).
The bill instructs the National Science Foundation (NSF) to more equitably allocate funding for research with a focus on early childhood. The bill also directs NSF to support research on the factors that discourage or encourage girls to engage in STEM activities, including computer science.
The Building Blocks of STEM Act is a bipartisan, bicameral bill, introduced jointly by Congresswoman Stevens and Congressman Jim Baird (R-IN) in the House of Representatives, alongside U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) in the Senate.
“I am so excited to join Congressman Baird of Indiana to introduce my first bill as a Member of Congress, the Building Blocks of STEM Act,” said Congresswoman Haley Stevens. “This bill helps ensure that our children are prepared to fill the jobs of tomorrow by directing public resources to study opportunities for early childhood STEM education and strategies to encourage girls to engage in STEM & computer science.”
“I’m proud to partner with my colleagues in the House and Senate on this important bipartisan legislation. As one of only two members of Congress with a PhD in science, I understand how important it is to start children off on the right foot, by teaching STEM concepts and principles at an early age,” notes Representative Baird. “Equally important is ensuring that we get more girls involved in the STEM fields, so that we have as many people as possible contributing to the knowledge base of our society. Hoosiers know that to grow as a nation, we need everyone involved.”
“Now more than ever, we must work to break down barriers so that all girls have access to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and computer science,” said Kimberly Churches, Chief Executive Officer of the American Association of University Women (AAUW). “The bipartisan Building Blocks of STEM Act will strengthen early childhood STEM education and lead to more effective policies and practices to increase the number of women in our STEM workforce. AAUW thanks Representative Stevens for her attention to this important issue and looks forward to working with her and the rest of the Members of House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology on this important bill.”
“Ensuring that the lifelong benefits of early and consistent exposure to STEM fields reaches girls is critical to America’s long term technological, economic, and security interests,” said Sylvia Acevedo, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA. "As single largest girl-serving, girl-led leadership program in the country, Girl Scouts' STEM programs reach more girls in more places than any other organization. We are proud to support Senator Rosen and her cosponsors' Building Blocks of STEM Act to make funds available for research and programming to increase girls' engagement in STEM.”
Before serving in Congress, Congresswoman Stevens launched a STEM education program which introduced over 200 middle and high school students to digital manufacturing concepts and processes with hands-on teaching. Congresswoman Stevens is the Chairwoman of the Research & Technology Subcommittee of the House Science, Space & Technology Committee, which has jurisdiction over the National Science Foundation.