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Senator outlines her efforts to boost science and technology education at Windham High event

(Windham, N.H.) – America must lead in science and technology education to retain its competitive edge in the global economy, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) said today during a visit to Windham High School.  Shaheen spoke about her Innovation Inspiration School Grant Program, which would give high school students greater access to innovative programs in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.  The Senator met with members of the school’s FIRST (For Inspiration of Science and Technology) robotics team, an example of the type of program her legislation would support.

“America’s future is not in low-wage manufacturing.  It is in high-tech sectors where we can bring the full force of our ingenuity to bear,” said Shaheen.  “By encouraging students to study these fields, this bill will help students find good jobs, help businesses find skilled workers, and help the United States remain the global leader in science and technology.”

“Windham High School's FIRST robotics team is the embodiment of a thoroughly integrated STEM curriculum,” said Windham High School Principal Tom Murphy.  “I applaud the efforts of Senator Shaheen as she continues to champion legislation that will better position our students in the global market.”

The Innovation Inspiration School Grant Program will allow secondary schools to compete for U.S. Department of Education grants to support non-traditional STEM education.  It encourages schools to establish partnerships with the private sector, both for material support and to provide mentors who can serve as role models—further enriching students’ learning experiences.

U.S. Senators Mark Begich (D-AK), Chris Coons (D-DE), Al Franken (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), John Kerry (D-MA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Harry Reid (D-NV), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) have joined Shaheen as co-sponsors of the legislation.  The bill has been endorsed by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Autodesk, BAE, DEKA Research, FIRST Robotics, Insight Technology, the New Hampshire Association of School Administrators, the New Hampshire Association of School Principals, PTC, and SAIC.  STEM education program leaders Dean Kamen (FIRST founder) and Dr. Ralph Coppola (Real World Design Challenge director) have endorsed the legislation as well.