ACM Sponsors Congressional Briefing on STEM Education and Public-Private Partnerships

By Renee Dopplick, ACM Director of Public Policy
December 21, 2015

The ACM Education Policy Committee joined the National Science Teachers Association, the American Chemical Society, the Afterschool Alliance, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the Education Development Center to sponsor a congressional briefing on informal STEM education hosted by the STEM Education Coalition Policy Forum.

The briefing, titled “Informal STEM Education 101: Public-Private Partnerships and Measures of Success,” focused on examples of public-private partnerships aimed at helping students develop scientific and technical knowledge and skills. The panelists described how competitions, mentorships, afterschool clubs, and summer programs can help expose students to computer science and other STEM subjects. The panelists said that informal educational opportunities that allow students to explore new interests and discover possible career paths are in high demand.

House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Chairman Lamar Smith provided opening remarks on the importance of STEM educational opportunities. Chairman Smith co-sponsored the bipartisan bill, the STEM Education Act of 2015, which expanded the definition of STEM for federal programs to include computer science. Congress unanimously approved the STEM Education Act of 2015, and the President signed it into law in October.

Experts on the panel included, Tyler Chandler, Florida’s State Director for the Afterschool All Stars; Michael Kaurich, the Operations Director for STEM Action in Maryland; Anita Krishnamurthi, the Vice President of STEM Policy for the Afterschool Alliance; and Nick Hutchinson, the Executive of US2020.