- Advocacy & Policy
- Research Center
April 18, 2008AIA co-signed several letters sent this week urging congressional leaders to strengthen math and science education by fully funding federal scientific research and education initiatives like the Education Departments Math and Science Partnerships program. Sent by the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education Coalition to President Bush as well as to House and Senate leaders, the letters ask for continued financial support for these educational initiatives. The coalition is a group of diverse organizations representing all sectors of the technological workforce. "Federal funding for math and science programs is a vital part of our nations commitment to education," AIA President and CEO Marion Blakey said. "With a growing percentage of aerospace workers eligible to retire, AIA is committed to working with Congress and our partners to fill the workforce pipeline with talent for all critical U.S. industries." Funding the Education Department's Math and Science Partnerships program with $450 million for fiscal 2009 would help schools and teachers across the country better equip themselves to effectively teach math and science courses. Another worthy program is a mathematics education initiative authorized by last year's America COMPETES Act, dubbed Math Now. That program, which supports competitive grants to improve instruction for students in kindergarten through ninth grade, deserves the administrations full funding request of $95 million, Blakey said. AIA and its members also support STEM education through various individual and industry-wide initiatives, including AIA's annual Team American Rocketry Challenge. The contest, in its sixth year, reaches more than 7,000 students across the country each year and encourages hands-on application of science and engineering principles.