Lowey and LG Hochul Hear from Students at STEM Roundtable in Westchester
YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, NY – Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY17/Rockland-Westchester) and New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul were joined by high school winners of the 2018 Westchester Science & Engineering Fair (WESEF) and their respective science teachers, school officials, and local scientists at a roundtable discussion on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education. The roundtable focused on encouraging women and girls to enter STEM fields and on supporting female students pursuing STEM degrees.
“The deficit of women in STEM is not just a women’s issue, it’s an economic issue that threatens our country’s ability to compete on a global scale,” said Congresswoman Lowey. “I’m proud to have secured historic investments to support STEM, computer science education, and resources for teachers in the fiscal year 2018 spending bill to help ensure that young women in our district and across the country have the support and resources they need to fulfill their dreams of becoming scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and tech entrepreneurs. Of course, addressing the disparities in STEM will take more than money alone. Our roundtable discussion offered a tremendous opportunity to hear from future STEM leaders about ways to encourage and support girls from the day they show interest in mathematics or science to the day they choose to dedicate their lives to careers in STEM.”
“One of my missions as Lieutenant Governor has been to point the spotlight on the underrepresentation of women in the science and engineering workforce,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “I’m passionate about encouraging girls to enter these fields of study, and that is why I’m happy to join Rep. Nita Lowey in a discussion about girls in STEM. New York is aggressively working to close that gender gap among students as well as our existing workforce. We must continue to expose women and girls to nontraditional careers, including those in high-tech and coding, and continue to invest in educational opportunities and programs to ensure all students have the skills they need for good paying jobs of the future.”
“The main goal of the Westchester/Putnam Science & Engineering Fair is to support the efforts of the science research students from every high school in our two-county area and provide a venue for hundreds of students to present their multi-year, STEM education based research projects to local professionals,” said Michael Blueglass, Director of the Yorktown High School Science Research Program and President of the Westchester Science and Engineering Fair (WESEF). “The involvement in experiential, ‘hands on’ learning over an extended period of time has helped thousands of students to build the skills necessary to succeed in college and beyond.”
As the Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Committee, Lowey was instrumental in securing billions in historic investments in the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2018 enacted last week to support STEM and computer science education and resources for teachers, including:
- $1.1 billion for Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants, an increase of $700 million from the FY2017 enacted level, to provide flexibility to states to expand school-based services and pre-K through 12 computer science education programs that address the achievement gap for minorities, girls, and disadvantaged youth;
- $1.21 billion for 21st Century Community Learning Centers, an increase of $20 million from the FY2017 enacted level, to support afterschool enrichment including STEM activities;
- $120 million for Education Innovation and Research, an increase of $20 million from the FY2017 enacted level, for innovating STEM education projects, including computer science education, and of which $50 million is allocated for a new STEM and computer science competition;
- $1.2 billion for Career and Technical Education, an increase of $75 million from the FY2017 enacted level, to support high-tech and vocational training; and
- $7.767 billion for the National Science Foundation, including $902 million for Education and Human Resources, of which $62.5 million is allocated to Advancing Informal STEM Learning and $51.88 million for STEM + Computing (STEM+C) Partnerships.