Text: H.R.2587 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (06/28/2013)


113th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 2587

To provide for Federal agencies and employees to support science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) activities in classrooms.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
June 28, 2013

Mr. Connolly (for himself and Mr. Kilmer) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and in addition to the Committee on Education and the Workforce, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


A BILL

To provide for Federal agencies and employees to support science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) activities in classrooms.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Planting STEM in the Classroom Act”.

SEC. 2. Findings.

The Congress finds the following:

(1) The United States has traditionally produced the world’s leading innovators in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.

(2) Numerous studies show that STEM-related innovations fueled more than half of the Nation’s economic growth over the past half century.

(3) The number of STEM-related jobs grew 3 times as fast as non-STEM-related jobs during the past 10 years and is forecast to grow twice as fast over the next decade.

(4) Recent reports on standardized testing show United States students performing below average or average in mathematics and science when compared with their international peers.

(5) President Obama has established the goal for the United States to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020, which will require the Federal Government to work with education partners to improve the quality of STEM education at all levels to help increase the number of well-prepared graduates with STEM degrees by one-third over the next 10 years, resulting in an additional 1 million graduates with STEM degrees.

(6) President Obama has called for recruiting more teachers and mentors in the STEM fields to better engage students, particularly young women and minorities, and encourage them to pursue degrees and careers in the STEM fields so the United States can maintain its competitiveness in the global economy.

(7) The Federal Government employs and supports through research grants many of the world’s leading scientists, mathematicians, and engineers in every State.

SEC. 3. Providing volunteer opportunities for Federal employees engaged in STEM activities.

The Office of Personnel Management, in consultation with the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Department of Education, shall develop a policy to—

(1) increase volunteerism in STEM education activities by encouraging Federal employees engaged in STEM activities, including scientists, engineers, and cybersecurity specialists engaged in nonmilitary activities, from Federal agencies and the federally funded research and development centers supported by those agencies, to volunteer in STEM education activities by providing administrative leave and support for such employees to engage in such volunteerism; and

(2) support increased communication and partnerships between scientists and engineers from Federal science agencies conducting nonmilitary scientific research and development, including scientists and engineers of the federally funded research and development centers supported by those agencies, and elementary and secondary schools and teachers through volunteerism in STEM education activities.

SEC. 4. Conducting outreach to underrepresented communities.

Each Federal science agency shall report to Congress the approaches that it will take to conduct outreach designed to promote widespread public understanding of career opportunities in the STEM fields specific to the workforce needs of that agency, including outreach to women, Latinos, African-Americans, Native Americans, and other students from groups underrepresented in STEM fields.

SEC. 5. Annual report.

Not later than June 1, 2014, and annually thereafter, the Secretary of Education shall transmit a report to Congress detailing—

(1) the number of volunteers and volunteer hours resulting from this Act;

(2) the number of schools, teachers, and students engaged thereby; and

(3) the methods of outreach used under this Act to serve underrepresented communities.