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October 23, 2009 - ASCE Letter - Engineering in K-12 Education

October 23, 2009

The Honorable Daniel Lipinski
Chairman, Subcommittee on Research and Science Education
Committee on Science and Technology
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Vernon Ehlers
Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Research and Science Education
Committee on Science and Technology
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Lipinski and Ranking Member Ehlers:

On behalf of the of the more than 144,000 members of the American Society of Civil
Engineers (ASCE) thank you for holding a hearing on October 22nd on “Engineering in
K-12 Education.” ASCE echoes the statements of the witnesses that including
engineering in K-12 education is essential to ensuring a technically literate society.

ASCE was founded in 1852 and is the country’s oldest national civil engineering
organization. It represents civil engineers in private practice, government, industry and
academia who are dedicated to the advancement of the science and profession of civil

ASCE strongly supports the federal programs that foster an appreciation and
understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at all
educational levels. It is evident, however, that the technology and engineering
component is sadly lacking. It is critical to provide all students, regardless of their
career intentions, with an understanding of STEM concepts adequate to enable their
participation in our increasingly technological society; furthermore we must prepare
students who intend to pursue STEM careers with the necessary knowledge and skills
in these subjects.

ASCE supports the conclusion of the National Academy of Engineering report,
“Engineering in K-12 Education: Understanding the Status and Improving the
Many elementary, middle, and high school students do not receive
adequate instruction in math and science, such that the possibility of studying
engineering at the college level is effectively precluded. Moreover, many elementary,
middle, and high school students receive little or no exposure to engineering. As a
result, students who have the aptitude to be successful engineers never have an
opportunity to develop an interest in this career path.

Once again, thank you for your leadership on this important issue. ASCE stands ready
to help in any way we can. Please do not hesitate to contact Martin Hight, ASCE’s
Senior Manager of Government Relations at 202-789-7843 or for
further information or help.


D. Wayne Klotz, P.E., D.WRE, F.ASCE
ASCE President