Ryan Stauffer, Missouri Chamber Director of Legislative Affairs, recently attended the first-of-its-kind State-Federal Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education Summit hosted by The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in Washington, D.C.
The Missouri Chamber has long been the lead proponent of improving STEM education in Missouri. The Missouri Chamber facilitates the Missouri Mathematics and Science Coalition and offers several STEM-related programs including STEM Day at the Missouri Capitol. The Missouri Chamber also was successful in advocating for the passage of new laws this year that will give Missouri students better access to quality computer science education and more exposure to STEM career paths.
The summit convened a diverse group of State STEM leaders, including officials from governors’ offices, K-20 educators, workforce and industry representatives, state policy experts, and non-government organization executives. Stauffer and others participated in the development of a new federal five-year STEM Education Strategic Plan in compliance with America COMPETES Act of 2010.
“This event is the first time an administration has asked for this level of State input when developing a Federal STEM education strategy,” said Jeff Weld, senior policy advisor and assistant director for STEM education at OSTP. “Top-down approaches to STEM education can often yield wonderful ideas, but it’s at the State and community level where the momentum happens. State leaders know best what kinds of programs will work in their communities, and where they need the power of the Federal government to help drive success in this field. STEM education is critical to preparing our students for the jobs of the future. We must do everything we can to ensure that Federal, State, local, and tribal governments, communities, educators, and private industry partners are united for the long-term success of our Nation.”