SHAHEEN: STEM EDUCATION CRITICAL FOR NEW HAMPSHIRE’S ECONOMY, FUTURE

October 21, 2013

(Dover, NH) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) met with Dover High School students this afternoon to promote educational investments in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) which will help develop a homegrown, high-skilled workforce for the future.  Shaheen met with the school’s all-girls Introduction to Engineering class which is designed to encourage young women to pursue STEM education opportunities. Currently, women make up nearly half of the US workforce at 48 percent, but just 24 percent of workers in STEM fields are women. Shaheen has been a strong supporter of investments in STEM throughout her career and co-chairs the Senate STEM Caucus that was launched earlier this year.

“Investing in STEM education will help prepare young people for the high-tech jobs that are an increasingly important part of New Hampshire’s future,” Shaheen said. “Dover High School is doing great work to promote STEM education, particularly with young women, and we ought to do more to promote similar efforts nationally.  This will help our country develop a homegrown workforce for the future and keep us competitive in the global marketplace as the demand for a high-skilled workforce increases.”

Shaheen has been a leader on STEM education efforts since her days as Governor and is a recognized leader by STEM Connector in their 100 Women in STEM publication. Earlier this year, Shaheen introduced legislation that would boost access to STEM education for students. The Innovation Inspiration School Grant Program would establish a grant program within the Department of Education that school districts can apply for to support STEM efforts. She has also encouraged participation in FIRST (For Inspiration of Science and Technology) robotics competitions an example of the type of program her legislation would support.  

Dover High School’s all-female Introduction to Engineering class helps improve students problem-solving skills and introduces them to Computer Aided Design System (CAD), a program widely used by engineers. The school also promotes STEM education through GET (Girls (into) Engineering and Technology) which is open to all students interested in STEM subjects. The group connects students with mentors and arranges job shadows and job tours in STEM fields. Senator Shaheen taught at Dover High School after finishing college.