Shaheen, Hassan Honor Christa McAuliffe During Commemorative Coin Unveiling

December 18, 2020

 **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.**

 

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) issued the following statements after the unveiling of the Christa McAuliffe Commemorative Coin today. Shaheen led the bipartisan legislation with Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Hassan creating the commemorative coin to honor Christa McAuliffe, the Concord teacher who died aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986. This coin promotes American commitment to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and will support it with proceeds from the coin.

Shaheen and Hassan both submitted video messages for the ceremony earlier today, which can be viewed here and here.

“Christa McAuliffe will always have a special place in our hearts in New Hampshire. More than three decades since the NASA Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, her mission lives on in the generations of students she inspired to pursue STEM education and space exploration,” said Shaheen. “This commemorative coin was a long time in the making and is a fitting tribute to her legacy. I’d like to thank Dean Kamen for his efforts to continue Christa’s work on behalf of students in New Hampshire and across the country, and I appreciate Senator Enzi and Senator Hassan’s partnership on our bipartisan legislation that helped make this vision a reality.”

 “Christa McAuliffe will always be an inspiration to Granite Staters and Americans from all walks of life,” said Senator Hassan. “Christa was driven by a passion for teaching and scientific discovery, and this commemorative coin will help continue her legacy. I also greatly appreciate Dean Kamen’s work on this effort and all that he does to advance Christa’s mission of engaging more young people in the STEM fields. And I am grateful to have been part of a bipartisan team with Senator Shaheen and Senator Enzi in helping make this commemorative coin a reality. I look forward to similar bipartisan efforts in the future to bolster STEM education.”

Shaheen’s bipartisan legislation with Senators Enzi and Hassan to create this commemorative coin, the Christa McAuliffe Commemorative Coin Act, was signed into law last year. The bill passed the Senate and the House of Representatives with strong bipartisan support.

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.