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Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) Education

It is ASCE policy to actively develop, support and promote programs which initiate and expand an awareness and use of math and science; particularly as they relate to civil engineering. Students at all levels, no matter what careers they ultimately pursue, need a strong background in basic math and science to participate in our increasingly technical society. Students who want to pursue careers based in math and science need the necessary skills in those subjects. Highly qualified students need to be encouraged to pursue skills in math and science. ASCE specifically supports:

  • Strengthen effective Science-Technology-Engineering-Math (STEM) education programs at all levels - K-12, undergraduate, graduate, continuing ed, vocational, informal - at the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and other federal agencies with STEM related programs, and encourage better coordination of efforts among federal agencies that provide STEM education programs.
  • Encourage national elected officials and key opinion leaders to recognize and bring attention to the critical role that STEM education plays in U.S. competitiveness and our future economic prosperity.
  • Support making STEM a major component of the reauthorization on the No Child Left Behind Act.
  • Support Full authorized funding for major STEM programs at the Department of Education, the National Science Foundation an other federal agencies.   

Status Report

The No Child Left Behind Act expired in 2007. Efforts to reauthorize the program have been unsuccessful. In the coming year, efforts to reauthorize or replace the program will have a large impact on how STEM is taught in the U.S.

The American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI) focused on increases in spending for, among others things, federal civilian research and development and improved K-12 math and science education. The initiative was in response to the National Academies' report on U.S. competitiveness entitled Above the Gathering Storm, which places much emphasis on K-12 math and science education. It received partial funding for FY 2008.