Congressman Lowenthal Secures $30M For Critical STEM Education Program
Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), in a bipartisan effort, has secured a total of $30 million in funding for a critical national STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education program—a $5 million increase over the annual funding he helped secure each of the past three years—as part of the Department of Defense (DoD) appropriations bill passed by the House on Thursday.
The funding is for the STARBASE program, which engages local fifth-grade elementary students by exposing them to first-hand "real-world" applications of STEM skills. In the 47th District, the STARBASE Youth Program Facility at the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos serves nearly 4,000 students a year.
The goal of the program is to motivate fifth-grade students to explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) as they continue their education. The academies serve students that are historically underrepresented in STEM: students who live in inner cities or rural locations, are socio-economically disadvantaged, low in academic performance, or have a disability.
"As a former educator and co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional STARBASE Caucus, I understand how critical programs like STARBASE can be for our children, who will need STEM-based skill sets to succeed in the 21st Century. Investing in our children's education in the STEM fields is an investment not only in their futures, but in the future of our nation," Congressman Lowenthal said.
"One of my greatest joys of serving in Congress has been becoming a champion for our STARBASE program at the Joint Forces Training Base. It does great work for our community, and we must continue to prepare our youth for our changing economy."
The program is carried out by the military services because the lack of STEM educated youth in America has been identified as a future national security issue by the Department of Defense.
The bipartisan cosponsors of the bill include: Congresswomen Barbara Comstock (STARBASE Caucus co-chair), Lynn Jenkins, Betty McCollum, and Niki Tsongas and Congressmen Dan Benishek, Joaquin Castro, Tom Emmer, and Peter Welch.