Congresswoman Esty Convenes STEM Advisory Board
WATERBURY, CT – Today, Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5), a member of the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, announced that she has convened a STEM – science, technology, engineering, and math – Advisory Board to identify recommendations that will connect students with STEM-related careers. The board will hold its first meeting at 10 a.m. on Monday, August 31, at Kaynor Technical High School in Waterbury.
“I hear from manufacturers across central and northwest Connecticut about the challenges they face in finding skilled employees, and I hear from educators that we need more support in STEM fields,” Esty said. “I’m excited to bring together this dynamic group of passionate leaders that will help me identify ways we can connect the dots better and help prepare our students for successful 21st Century careers. Our competiveness as a nation depends on ensuring that employers can draw from a STEM-educated workforce.”
The advisory board will be comprised of roughly 13 representatives from labor, education, and industry. The board will meet throughout the year to discuss federal legislation and issues facing the STEM community in Connecticut’s Fifth District. In turn, the advisory board will provide members the opportunity to collaborate on their efforts and forge partnerships for current and future initiatives.
Research suggests that an alarming underrepresentation of women and minorities currently exists in STEM fields across the United States. In Washington, Rep. Esty has been focused on a bipartisan innovation agenda to support STEM education and careers.
Esty’s STEM Education Act (H.R. 1020), which she introduced with Republican Lamar Smith, of Texas, passed the House of Representatives in February with bipartisan support. The bill increases support for STEM teachers and expands the definition of STEM to include computer science.
In May, Esty offered an amendment to the America COMPETES Act (H.R. 1806), which increases support for female entrepreneurs through the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program. Her amendment was accepted with strong bipartisan support.
In addition, Esty co-authored legislation that would empower school districts to better engage girls and underrepresented minorities in STEM. The 21st Century STEM for Girls and Underrepresented Minorities Act (H.R. 2773) would provide funding for local educators to create the necessary infrastructure for enhanced STEM learning early in a child’s academic career.