White House Office of Science and Technology Policy hosts a State-Federal STEM Education Summit

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June 26, 2018

On June 25 and 26, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) hosted the 2018 State-Federal STEM Education Summit, bringing together education and science leaders from eighteen federal agencies along with more than two hundred science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) leaders from all fifty states, all five territories, and several native tribes of the Unites States. These attendees included officials from governors’ offices, K-20 educators, workforce and industry representatives, state policy experts, and non-governmental organization executives. Throughout the summit, administration officials engaged in a dialog with these stakeholder groups to consider their input for development of the upcoming Federal STEM Education Strategic Plan, which is required by the America COMPETES Act of 2010 (PL 11-358) to be updated every five years.

On the first day of the summit, participants learned how states can best leverage federal resources to continue fostering a strong STEM education pipeline in their communities. Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump and Deputy Assistant to the President for Technology Policy Michael Kratsios highlighted President Donald Trump’s executive actions on STEM education funding and expanding apprenticeships. Summit attendees also heard from U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Administrator Jim Bridenstine, National Science Foundation (NSF) Chief Operating Officer Joan Ferrini-Mundy, and Smithsonian Institution Secretary David Skorton in a panel discussion about the role that STEM plays in each of their agencies’ missions, and the relevant programs and resources available within their jurisdiction that state, local, and tribal STEM leaders could leverage to achieve their goals. Panelists answered questions from the audience, covering these topics in addition to engaging more women and other underrepresented groups in STEM.

The second day involved breakout sessions in which participants discussed the impact of the 2013-2018 Plan, emerging trends and priorities in STEM Education, the federal role and responsibility in supporting state, local, and tribal STEM education programs, and how stakeholders can inform the development of the upcoming 2018-2023 Plan. The attendees were also given a compilation of resource briefs from a variety of Federal agencies to share with their constituents and partners.

The summit closed with celebrating the more than 140 individuals and organizations honored with presidential awards for their excellence in teaching or mentoring in STEM. The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) honored K-6 teachers, and mentors received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM).

Later this year, OSTP will issue a comprehensive report on the summit and release the official 2018-2023 Federal STEM Education Strategic Plan. The White House says that the plan will provide both short- and long-term goals, and specify the approaches that federal agencies will use to validate and ensure the efficacy of their respective STEM education programs.

Source: National Science Foundation; White House.