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Shaheen, Hassan Announce Commemorative Coin Honoring Christa McAuliffe Now Available to Public

 **Shaheen led bipartisan legislation with Senators Mike Enzi & Maggie Hassan that was signed into law last year to create this commemorative coin in honor of Christa McAuliffe in support of STEM education.**

 Christa McAuliffe coin

The Christa McAuliffe Commemorative Coin, as displayed by the U.S. Mint.

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) issued the following statements after the Christa McAuliffe Commemorative Coin became available for purchase by the public today. Shaheen led the bipartisan legislation, which was signed into law in 2019, with Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Hassan to create the commemorative coin in honor of Christa McAuliffe, the Concord teacher who died aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986. A portion of the proceeds from sales of the coin will go to FIRST Robotics to further promote the commitment to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education.

“Christa McAuliffe was a dedicated educator whose extraordinary achievements inspired generations of young people to follow in her footsteps and reach for the stars. With this commemorative coin that is now available to the public, we can help share her legacy far and wide, while also investing in the cause that was closest to her heart: education,” said Senator Shaheen. “I worked in the Senate to enact bipartisan legislation authorizing this commemorative coin, which will help create and foster a new generation of leaders in STEM, through whom Christa’s passion for science and exploration will live on. I look forward to seeing this coin reach Americans across the country and cannot wait to purchase my own.”

“In classrooms in New Hampshire and across the country, we teach students about Christa McAuliffe to inspire them to strive for greatness and pursue their passions, just as she did,” Senator Hassan said. “Through this commemorative coin, we will help continue her legacy, while also encouraging the next generation of STEM leaders to get involved in scientific discovery. I am proud to have joined bipartisan efforts to make this commemorative coin a reality and will continue working to promote STEM education in classrooms across the country.”

Shaheen’s bipartisan legislation to create a commemorative coin honoring Christa McAuliffe, the Christa McAuliffe Commemorative Coin Act, was signed into law in 2019. The bill passed the Senate and the House of Representatives with strong bipartisan support, and further reaffirms American commitment to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and supports it with proceeds from the coin.  In December, Shaheen released a video message celebrating the coin’s unveiling. Senator Shaheen also entered a statement into the Congressional Record celebrating Christa McAuliffe’s life and service.

As the 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. Last 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. In 2019, 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.