Shaheen Announces New Legislation to Provide Emergency COVID-19 Funding for STEM Education

August 13, 2020

As COVID-19 pandemic impacts hands-on STEM learning, Shaheen announces new bill to support programs so they have the resources to continue STEM education and increase opportunities for students across the country.

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) announced new legislation today that would provide $200 million to invest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. Specifically, the bill provides federal funds for hands-on STEM learning opportunities, including via remote learning, afterschool activities, and innovative learning opportunities such as robotics competitions. Shaheen’s legislation – the Emergency Support for STEM Act – is in response to the extreme challenges that COVID-19 has created for STEM education.

“Strong STEM education programs are critical for preparing American students to compete in a global workforce and to uphold the United States’ reputation as a world leader in innovation. That’s why investing in STEM learning has always been a top priority for me, and why I’m now deeply concerned about ensuring these programs can continue to reach students,” said Senator Shaheen. “This crisis has demanded the best of all of us, to get creative and find safe ways to push forward, despite these difficulties. This legislation will provide the urgently needed funding that schools and programs need to adapt to the obstacles posed by COVID-19 so we can increase opportunities for students across the country to access STEM education. I urge members on both sides of the aisle to join me in this effort so we can continue to invest in our kids and their ability to build our 21st century workforce.”

As the Vice Chair of the Senate Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Shaheen has been a strong advocate for STEM education and scientific research funding priorities. During her time in the Senate, Shaheen has also worked to secure scientific research funding for New Hampshire universities and businesses. In June, Senator Shaheen hosted a virtual roundtable with NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine to highlight contracting opportunities for Granite State small businesses to support NASA’s ongoing space exploration technology research efforts and the Artemis program, which aims to land the next humans on the Moon. Last year, Bridenstine joined Shaheen in visits to the University of New Hampshire's Space Science Center and Mikrolar, a contractor for NASA. The events came on the heels of UNH’s selection by NASA for a highly-competitive $107.9 million contract award through the Earth Venture program.

In October, Shaheen’s bipartisan legislation with Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), the Christa McAuliffe Commemorative Coin Act, was signed into law. Their bill will create a $1 coin honoring the Concord educator who died aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986, with proceeds going to support STEM education.

Bill text of the Emergency Support for STEM Act here.