Shaheen Reintroduces Bill to Boost Emergency COVID-19 Funding for STEM Education

February 12, 2021

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) reintroduced her legislation to respond to the extreme challenges that COVID-19 has created for STEM education. The bill, the Emergency Support for STEM Act, would provide $200 million for emergency STEM promotion grants to Governors to support hands-on learning opportunities in STEM education -- including via remote learning, after-school activities and innovative learning opportunities like robotics competitions.

“Students studying STEM are the innovators and creators driving the future of our 21st century economy. Unfortunately, the pandemic stalled opportunities for hands-on learning for our students, which hinders our ability to prepare the next generation of leaders,” said Shaheen. “That’s why this investment in STEM education is critical and will help make sure our students in New Hampshire and across the country can be engaged with exciting opportunities to learn outside the traditional classroom. I’ll keep pushing for investments in our students and their STEM education to build out a workforce poised to lead.”

Through her leadership on 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. 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.

Last year, 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. Shaheen recently announced that the coin is available for pre-order, which coincided with the 35th anniversary of the Challenger tragedy.

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