Improving and enhancing STEM education is a national priority. Policy makers on both sides of the aisle recognize that science and technology will drive future economic growth, making a strong STEM education essential for success in the 21st century job market.
There is also a growing realization that out-of-school-time settings such as before-school, afterschool and summer learning programs provide an ideal environment in which to engage children and youth and spark their interest in STEM. The Afterschool Alliance has taken the lead to advance federal and state policies to ensure that afterschool programs will be an integral part of STEM education initiatives.
As we all work together to prepare the next generation of STEM professionals, keep checking back here for the latest developments on legislation, initiatives and reports regarding STEM education.
See what Congress is working on now - Track STEM education bills currently moving through Congress and take action by contacting your elected officials today!
ESEA - The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (formerly known as No Child Left Behind) authorizes several funding sources for afterschool including 21st Century Community Learning Centers, the single largest federal funding source dedicated to afterschool.
America COMPETES Act - Signed into law in 2007, this bill acknowledged the urgent need for improved STEM skills among our workforce in order to remain competitive in the global economy. The law provides funding for various agencies to promote stronger STEM education.
National Governors Association - The NGA Center for Best Practices operates a STEM network that provides best practices and resources to support the advancement of state STEM education agendas. Check out NGA's brief on why states should include informal science in STEM education policy.
Afterschool in Your State - Afterschool facts, policy and resources broken down by state.
Educate to Innovate - Launched by the Obama administration, this campaign aims to improve student participation and performance in STEM. The campaign includes a call to action for leading companies, foundations, nonprofits, and science and engineering companies to find ways to increase access to STEM education opportunities for youth.
Race to the Top - The Department of Education has made STEM a priority in this federal funding competition designed to spur innovation and reform in state and local education.
Investing in Innovation fund (i3 fund) - This academic achievement grant distributed by the Department of Education runs parallel to the Race to the Top initiative. The i3 fund was recently expanded to offer competitive grants specifically targeting strategies to accelerate STEM learning.
Afterschool Alliance recommendations to Congress: Afterschool Programs as Partners in STEM Education: Policy Recommendations (June 2012)
Afterschool Alliance letter to Office of Science and Technology Policy: Policy Recommendations in response to Draft Design Principles for Federal STEM Education Investments. (June 2012)
Government Accountability Office: SCIENCE,TECHNOLOGY,ENGINEERING, AND MATHEMATICS EDUCATION - Strategic Planning Needed to Better Manage Overlapping Programs across Multiple Agencies (January 2012)
Office of Science and Technology Policy: The Federal Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education Portfolio Report (December 2011)
Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce: STEM Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (October 2011)
President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology: "Prepare and Inspire: K-12 Education in STEM for America's Future" (September 2010) Note: Chapter 7, "Students," places special emphasis on science in out-of-school-time.
National Science Board: "Preparing the Next Generation of STEM Innovators: Identifying and Developing our Nation's Human Capital" (September 2010)
National Research Council: "Rising Above the Gathering Storm Revisited: Rapidly Approaching Category 5" (September 2010)
Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Institute for Advanced Study: "Opportunity Equation" (January 2010)
National Research Council: Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits (2009)