Skip to content

NH Delegation Introduces Bicameral Bills to Honor Christa McAuliffe & Reaffirm Commitment to STEM Education

NH Delegation Honors Life & Legacy of Christa McAuliffe on 33rd Anniversary of Space Shuttle Challenger Tragedy

(Washington, DC) – The New Hampshire Congressional delegation introduced bicameral bills that would create a commemorative coin to honor Christa McAuliffe and reaffirm Congress’ commitment to invest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. The Christa McAuliffe Commemorative Coin Act of 2019 would create a $1 coin honoring the Concord educator who died aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986, with proceeds going toward the FIRST Robotics program which was founded by Manchester-based inventor Dean Kamen. Shaheen introduced the Senate bill, which Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) cosponsored, and Representatives Kuster (NH-02) and Pappas (NH-01) cosponsored the legislation introduced in the House of Representatives.

The Space Shuttle Challenger crew included Christa McAuliffe, Dick Scobee, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Mike Smith and Ellison Onizuka. 

“Every Granite Stater remembers where they were 33 years ago today when we lost one of our own in the Challenger tragedy,” said Senator Shaheen. “From the moment Christa McAuliffe was selected for the Teacher in Space project, she made us so very proud. I can’t think of a better way to honor her than to ensure students have the support they need to keep learning and discovering as they pursue their dreams in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Christa McAuliffe’s lessons live on through our STEM students in New Hampshire and throughout the nation, and this effort to boost investments in the FIRST Robotics program will help ensure her legacy continues.”

“Christa McAuliffe was driven by a passion for teaching and a desire to push the boundaries of human knowledge and discovery, and she remains an inspiration to Granite Staters and Americans from all walks of life,” said Senator Hassan. “The solemn anniversary of the Challenger disaster is a time to recommit ourselves to ensuring that her legacy and the legacy of the other crew members lives on, and I am proud to join Senator Shaheen in introducing this legislation to carry on Christa McAuliffe’s work of encouraging more young people to engage in the STEM fields by using the proceeds from the coins to support the FIRST Robotics program.”

“Christa McAuliffe had immense passion for science and exploration, and this coin will support her legacy by supporting innovative STEM education through FIRST Robotics in New Hampshire and across the country,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “Christa touched the lives of many in the Granite State and she continues to inspire students nationwide. This coin would be a powerful testament to her enduring legacy.”

“33 years ago today we lost Christa McAuliffe, a social studies teacher from Concord High who showed us how ordinary people can achieve the extraordinary,” said Congressman Pappas. “She captured the imagination of so many Granite Staters and Americans. Today we are proud to honor her by furthering the cause of STEM education through the FIRST Robotics program which challenges the next generation to dream big and gain the leadership skills to turn their dreams into reality. I hope this coin will in some small way serve as an enduring reminder of Christa’s life, career, and legacy, which continues to touch the future.”

Senator Shaheen previously introduced similar legislation with former Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH). Read the Christa McAuliffe Commemorative Coin Act of 2019 bill text here.