Representatives Houlahan, Baird and Senators Hassan, Blackburn Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Bill to Strengthen K-12 STEM Education
Washington, May 27, 2021
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representatives Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) and Jim Baird (R-IN) and Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to modernize math curriculum and improve K-12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in the United States. The bipartisan Mathematical and Statistical Modeling Education Act would help schools to update their math curriculum to make it more relevant and applicable to real-world scenarios.
“The importance of STEM education cannot be overstated,” said Representative Houlahan. “Since coming to Congress, I’ve made it a priority to improve our STEM education programs both here in Pennsylvania and across the country. When I was an engineering student at Stanford, I was one of only ten women in my major, and those numbers haven’t changed much in the intervening 30 years. We as elected leaders need to make it clear to our communities that STEM education and diversity within the STEM talent pipeline are absolutely essential. Our bipartisan, bicameral legislation will help innovate our math curriculum to ensure students are learning real-word applications at an early age. Investing in STEM education is investing in the jobs of tomorrow and the young Americans who will one day fill those jobs.”
“The Mathematical and Statistical Modeling Education Act provides a much-needed solution to improving the quality of STEM education in America,” said Representative Baird. “This legislation advances mathematical instruction by incorporating modern tools and context, including data, statistics, and computation. Mathematical modeling is currently taught on a limited basis yet is the foundation for important work our nation is addressing within research, development, and technological innovation. I am proud to lead this effort providing for the security of America’s global competitive edge.”
“The United States must lead the world in STEM education so that we can continue to innovate and develop technologies that will help strengthen our national security and outcompete China,” said Senator Hassan. “Our bipartisan legislation would help schools adopt a math curriculum that teaches students how to apply mathematics to real-world scenarios and gain the skills that our innovative businesses need. I look forward to working with Senator Blackburn to gain support for this important bill to help students succeed in the modern economy.”
“American mathematicians are innovators; they put the first man on the moon and developed the theory of relativity,” said Senator Blackburn. “Our students deserve access to math education that is relevant in the workplace and prepares them with the necessary tools to apply their passion and innovative spirit to American research, defense, and technology.”
“It’s great to see bipartisan and bicameral support to give more students access to high quality modeling experiences,” said Dr. Suzanne Weekes, Executive Director of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. “The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics has long been engaged in promoting modeling skills for high school students, for example through our MathWorks Math Modeling Challenge. These mathematical skills are increasingly important for preparing students to be successful in the 21st century workforce.”
The bipartisan Mathematical and Statistical Modeling Education Act would direct the National Science Foundation to provide competitive grants focused on modernizing mathematics in STEM education through mathematical and statistical modeling, including data-driven and computational thinking. It will also direct the National Academies to conduct a study on the same topic.
The legislation is supported by The American Statistical Association (ASA), The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), The Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications (COMAP), The American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC), the New Hampshire Learning Initiative (NHLI), the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), Center for Innovation in Education (C!E) and the Business Software Alliance (BSA).
Houlahan is an Air Force veteran, an engineer, a serial entrepreneur, an educator and a nonprofit leader. She represents Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District, which encompasses Chester County and southern Berks County. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Small Business Committee.