Thursday, January 24, 2013

The STE(A)M Caucus Hits Capitol Hill

How easy is this?  Send a copy of our STE(A)M letter to your elected officials.

The Honorable _____________________

United States House of Representatives

Re: In support of House Resolution 51 (STEM to STEAM)

Dear Representative ________________,

I wanted to bring to your attention the recent formation of the bipartisan STEAM Caucus co-chaired by Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Aaron Schock (R-IL), and encourage you to consider joining your colleagues in working to turn STEM to STEAM.

I support the idea of broadening STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) to encompass both art and science – to add Art and turn STEM to STEAM in recognition of the fact that creativity and problem solving are critical components of innovation and economic progress in the 21st century.
Just prior to the first meeting of the new STEAM Caucus in February 2013, Rep. Bonamici participated in a hearing of the US House Committee on Science, Space and Technology on the importance of STEM innovation, where she asked panelists about the importance of STEAM. You can view their positive responses here. To learn more or join the STEAM caucus, please contact Carly Katz in Rep. Bonamici’s office or Kelli Ripp in Rep. Schock’s office.

I also urge you to support House Resolution 51, introduced in January 2013 by STEAM Caucus member, Representative Jim Langevin (D-RI). H. Res. 51 has since been referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce as well as to the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. The resolution encourages innovation and economic growth in the United States by adding art and design to federal programs that support increased emphasis on the STEM subjects. To become a cosponsor of H.Res. 51, please contact Sam Morgante in Rep. Langevin’s office.

As I think about just one tangible example of this, I am reminded of how the brilliance of Apple has made a profound impact on our everyday lives. Steve Jobs, who considered himself an artist and technologist, emphasized the importance of design, aesthetics and creative thinking in making Apple products arguably the most desirable and usable ones on the market. Even Sesame Street, the most ubiquitous TV show for pre-school children, has announced that their 43rd season is brought to you by the letters “S-T-E-A-M,” highlighting how artists use STEM knowledge to enhance their work and how the arts are vital to teaching children to think creatively and innovate. Clearly, art and design provide the key to technology and innovation.

Again, I urge you to join the STEAM Caucus and support House Resolution 51.


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