Blackburn’s legislation sets up K-12 students for STEM success

U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) recently offered a bipartisan bill that aims to raise the bar on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in grades kindergarten through 12 across the United States.

“STEM education plays a vital role in ensuring America’s competitiveness in the 21st century,” Sen. Blackburn said. “Our students should have access to a mathematical and statistical problem-solving curriculum that is relevant in the workplace and prepares them to apply their passion to American research, defense, and technology.”

The Mathematical and Statistical Modeling Education Act, S. 2739, which Sen. Blackburn cosponsored alongside bill sponsor U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH), would help K-12 schools better prepare students for STEM occupations that offer high wages and opportunities for career advancement, and train educators to engage students in high-quality, research-based lessons applicable to real-world scenarios, according to a bill summary provided by the lawmakers.

“Setting up our children for success requires making sure that they have the education and training needed to compete in the 21st century economy,” said Sen. Hassan. “I urge my colleagues to support this important bill and will keep working to give students the resources that they need to thrive in school and in their future careers.”

The bill would direct the National Science Foundation to provide competitive grants focused on modernizing mathematics in STEM education through mathematical and statistical modeling, including data-driven and computational thinking, and direct the National Academies to conduct a study on the same topic, the summary says.

S. 2739 has garnered support from the American Mathematical Society, the Center for Innovation in Education, NS4ed, Data Science 4 Everyone, the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, INFORMS, the Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications, the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges, the American Statistical Association, the Association for Women in Mathematics, the Mathematical Association of America, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, The Learning Agency, and the New Hampshire Learning Initiative.