Washington – Teaming up with one of the most conservative members of the House of Representatives, Rep. Elizabeth Esty scored a legislative win Monday with House approval of a bill aimed at supporting studies in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.

“STEM education is critical to preparing our students for high-demand careers in engineering, manufacturing, and information technology,” Esty, D-5th District, said. “I’ve heard time and time again from manufacturers and small business owners that it’s increasingly difficult to find workers with the right skill sets to fill jobs in demand.”

Co-sponsored by Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, the legislation would extend federal grants supporting STEM education in museums, science centers, and other programs outside of the classroom. The bill would also extend STEM grants to computer science education. The bill was easily approved in the House by a voice vote.

Smith is the chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. Esty is a member of that committee.

In a speech on the House floor, Esty said “preparing our students with the skills they need to thrive in a global economy transcends partisanship.”

Matt Fleury, President and CEO of the Connecticut Science Center, hailed passage of the legislation, which still needs to be considered by the Senate.

“Collectively, schools, families and out-of-school learning resources create an eco-system that engages kids in STEM and helps them prepare for the modern workforce,” he said. “The STEM Education Act represents a crucial step forward for our students and teachers, and for institutions like the Connecticut Science Center.”

Ana has written about politics and policy in Washington, D.C.. for Gannett, Thompson Reuters and UPI. She was a special correspondent for the Miami Herald, and a regular contributor to The New York TImes, Advertising Age and several other publications. She has also worked in broadcast journalism, for CNN and several local NPR stations. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Journalism.

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