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Senator Hassan Joins in Reintroducing Bipartisan Rural STEM Education Act

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), and John Cornyn (R-TX) reintroduced the Rural STEM Education Act, which would help improve broadband in rural communities in order to expand access to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and job training.

 

“New Hampshire’s innovative businesses want to hire workers with a background in STEM, but this can be difficult when so many Granite Staters in rural communities do not have access to the technology that they need to receive a STEM education and compete for those jobs,” said Senator Hassan. “This bipartisan bill would take steps to improve rural broadband, which will help more Granite Staters access the kind of STEM education and job-training that will prepare them for success in the 21st century economy.”  

  

The bipartisan Rural STEM Education Act would:

  • Direct the Secretary of Commerce to establish a prize competition to encourage innovative ideas to deploy broadband connectivity to rural communities;
  • Instruct the National Science Foundation (NSF) Director to establish a working group to address research challenges and opportunities for improving broadband access. The working group would be required to report their findings to Congress;
  • Direct NSF Director to provide grants to support training for STEM teachers in rural schools, conduct research to identify barriers rural students face in STEM education, and establish partnerships between community colleges and rural high schools. The funds would assist the improvement of online STEM education and hands-on training at rural schools; and
  • Direct the NSF Director and the National Academy of Sciences to evaluate federal programming for rural STEM education and make recommendations for ways in which it can be improved.

 

Click here to read the bill.

 

Senator Hassan is working to help rural communities in New Hampshire thrive. Previously, Senator Hassan successfully called on the Federal Communications Commission to extend the deadline for communities to challenge the accuracy of broadband coverage maps. Senator Hassan also successfully worked to include $7 billion in funding for the E-Rate program in the American Rescue Plan, which will direct funds to help schools provide Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, and internet-enabled devices, including internet service through such equipment, to students. Last month, the Senator also joined a bipartisan group of colleagues in introducing the Success for Rural Students and Communities Act, which would assist rural students in reaching their higher education goals and connect them with employment opportunities in their hometowns.

 

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