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Press Releases :: May 4, 2010

House Passes S&T Resolutions to Honor NSF and Improve STEM Participation with Bipartisan Support

(Washington, DC) – Today, the House of Representatives approved H.Res.1307, honoring the National Science Foundation (NSF) for its 60 years of service to the nation, by a vote of 370 to 2, and H.Res.1213,recognizing the need to improve the participation and performance of America's students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields, and supporting the ideals of National Lab Day, by a vote of 378 to 2.
H.Res.1307 honors NSF for the agency’s 60 years of service. NSF supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering. This bill was introduced by Science and Technology Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN) and cosponsored by Science and Technology Committee Ranking Member Ralph Hall (R-TX).
“Over the past 60 years, NSF has supported fundamental research leading to many of the innovative discoveries that have benefited society and strengthened the nation’s global competitiveness,” stated Gordon.  “In addition to transformative research in science and engineering, NSF supports many education programs and activities that seek to improve the teaching and learning of STEM, such as the Noyce Teacher Scholarship program.  I would like to commend NSF on their great work and contributions over the past six decades.”  
As the federal agency charged with ensuring U.S. excellence in science, engineering, and mathematics through basic research and education, the Foundation’s efforts have been critical to maintaining our leadership in a competitive world,” said Research and Science Education Vice Chairwoman Marcia Fudge (D-OH), who managed the resolutions on the floor. “Keeping America competitive provides good jobs and a strong, growing economy. That process begins with a high-quality educational system and continues with investments in new ideas and skilled people.  NSF’s capable leadership and staff meet these national needs with expertise and enthusiasm, and I commend them for the continued high caliber of their performance.”
The Committee recently approved a reauthorization of NSF as part of H.R. 5116, the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010. The bill keeps the agency on a path to double authorization funding over 10 years. In addition to supporting basic research by reauthorizing NSF as well as the Department of Energy Office of Science and the National Institute of Standards and Technology labs, COMPETES aims to strengthen science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and foster innovation. The bill is expected to be on the House floor this month.
H.Res.1213, introduced by Rep. Fudge, recognizes the need to improve the participation and performance in STEM fields and supports National Lab Day. National Lab Day is a nationwide initiative to build local communities of support that will foster ongoing collaborations among volunteers, students and educators. The National Lab Day collaboration will be celebrated on May 12th.
“The Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates that STEM occupations will grow by 21.4 percent between 2006 and 2016. In an effort to capitalize on these jobs and strengthen our nation’s competitiveness in the global economy, we must improve the participation and performance of American students in STEM fields,” said Gordon. “I support H.Res.1213 and commend Ms. Fudge’s hard work on this issue.”
“All children have an innate curiosity about the world around them. Research shows students begin to lose this inquisitiveness as early as middle school. During National Lab Day students in all grades participate in hands-on, scientific educational projects to demonstrate real life applications of the STEM fields,” stated Fudge. “These activities keep students interested and engaged in math and science throughout primary and secondary school. We hope that by keeping children interested early in life, more American students will enter STEM fields.”
The House also passed three other resolutions recognizing noteworthy anniversaries in the science and technology field by voice vote: H.Res.1310, recognizing the 50th anniversary of the laser, sponsored by Research and Science Education Subcommittee Ranking Member Vernon Ehlers (R-MI); H.Res.1231, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the world’s first meteorological satellite, sponsored by Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ); and H.Res.1269, commemorating the 400th anniversary of the first telescope of astronomical observation, sponsored by Rep. Patrick Tiberi (R-OH).
For more information on COMPETES, or to view Rep. Fudge’s floor speeches on H.Res.1307 and H.Res.1213, please visit the Committee’s website.

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