Detroit Free Press: Rep. Haley Stevens’ bill to encourage girls in science, math passes House

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WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens, D-Rochester Hills, won passage of her first two pieces of legislation this week, including a measure to better support efforts to get preschool and elementary school girls involved in science, math and technology.

“Women and girls everywhere need to know that they can succeed in the STEM fields and that our country and our economy won’t succeed without them,” said Stevens, who worked in the Obama White House for his auto task force and later led an effort to expose students to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) skills.

She was elected to Congress last year and is a subcommittee chairman on the Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee.

Stevens’ legislation calls for opening research into teacher practices and classroom cultures that could discourage girls from being interested in science, math and technology; taking steps to combat gender bias, and “acquainting female students in prekindergarten through elementary school with careers in computer science and encouraging such students to consider careers in such field.”

The bill also tells the National Science Foundation to more equitably fund research into early childhood STEM involvement. The legislation, which Stevens introduced along with Rep. Jim Baird, R-Ind., now goes to the Senate where a bipartisan companion bill, sponsored by Sens. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., has been introduced.

Stevens also won passage of a bill to boost a network of centers around the country aimed at bringing together federal agencies, private corporations, colleges and universities and others to advance new technologies and training.

Both pieces of legislation were approved by the House on voice votes Tuesday.

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