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Hirono offers new investments for STEM career opportunities

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Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) presented her plan to improve opportunities for women and minorities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

“Amid increasing global economic competition, the United States cannot afford to ignore the barriers women and minorities face when pursuing studies and careers in STEM,” Senator Hirono said. “These two bills would make key investments to open new avenues for women and people of color to pursue studies and careers in STEM and harness America’s diversity to meet the economic challenges of the 21st century.”st century.”

The legislation includes two bills: the STEM Opportunities Act (S. 2224) and the Empowering Women and Minorities in STEM Act (S. 2217).

STEM Opportunities Act:

This bill would provide funding for guidance, research, data collection and other activities to promote opportunities for women and minorities in STEM at colleges and universities and federal science agencies. It would also require greater data collection to better understand who receives federal grants, clarify guidelines for grant reviewers to minimize the effects of implicit bias, and create federal grants to promote recruitment and retention practices based on research for teachers and students of education minorities. House Committee on Science, Space and Technology Chair Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) introduced the House Companion, which was passed by the House earlier this year.

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The legislation is co-sponsored by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nevada), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) , Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nevada), Tina Smith (D- Minn.), And Sheldon Whitehouse (DR.I.),

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The STEM Opportunities Act is approved by the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), American Astronomical Society (AAS), American Chemical Society (ACS), American Geophysical Union (AGU), American Mathematical Society (AMS), American Physical Society (APS)), American Physiological Society (APS), American Political Science Association (APSA), American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), American Society for Microbiology (ASM), American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET), AnitaB.org, Carnegie Mellon University Graduate Student Assembly, Computing Alliance of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (CAHSI), Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA), Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences (FABBS), Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES), IEEE-USA, MIT Graduate Student Council l, State University System of Florida, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP) and Society of Women Engineers (SWE).

Women and Minorities in the STEM Booster Act:

This bill would provide funding for professional development and training, mentoring and awareness to promote the recruitment and retention of women and minorities in STEM. Under the bill, for example, a college or university could receive a competitive grant to offer graduate or undergraduate internships in STEM, or create programs designed to improve the recruitment or retention of undergraduate faculty. represented in STEM. Likewise, a non-profit organization could receive a competitive grant to run STEM-focused online workshops or create programs for K-12 students to work alongside STEM professionals to gain experience. practice in STEM. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (DN.Y.) will lead the House Companion.

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The legislation is co-sponsored by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) And Jacky Rosen (D-Nevada).

The Women and Minorities in STEM Booster Act is approved by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), the American Mathematical Society (AMS), Girls, Inc., the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

“The STEM workforce has grown significantly over the past decades and the demand for professionals in these fields is expected to increase in the coming years. Yet women of color, and even women in general, remain vastly under-represented in STEM careers. Without a strong and diverse STEM workforce, the United States will not be able to remain competitive globally. But we need to remove the barriers and prejudices that keep women from entering – or push them back once they get there ”, Kim Churches, CEO of the American Association of University Women, said. “We applaud Representative Carolyn Maloney and Senator Mazie Hirono for bringing forward the Women and Minorities in STEM Booster Act 2021 to address these issues. By creating programs to open doors for under-represented populations, this law will help lay the groundwork for a more welcoming and inclusive STEM workforce in the years to come.

“Girls and students of color face significant barriers to accessing meaningful STEM opportunities, which need to be addressed at the policy level” Stephanie J. Hull, Ph.D., President and CEO of Girls Inc. said. “The Women and Minorities in STEM Booster Act would provide much needed support to foster the interests and capacities of young people in STEM, and inspire them to embrace these careers as viable options for the future. This law has the potential to advance workplace equity and reduce income inequality for women. We are proud to support the STEM Booster Act and congratulate Representative Carolyn Maloney and Senator Mazie Hirono for their leadership. “

“The opportunities and personal impact of K-12 math are unacceptable to many, especially women and under-represented groups” Dr Trena Wilkerson, president of the National Council of Mathematics Teachers, said. “Our collective and coordinated attention is needed to increase access and support and to ensure that the actions and cultures of our mathematics and STEM programs, at all levels, are transformed to welcome, embrace, support and value women and marginalized people. The STEM Booster Act works on many levels, from professional development and leadership development to increasing representation and role models in education. The NCTM appreciates the attention given to this vital work and supports the leadership and vision of Representative Maloney and Senator Hirono through the STEM Booster Act.

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