Congresswoman Bonamici Convenes Forum to Promote STEAM Education
Beaverton, OR—Congresswoman Bonamici (OR-01) convened a forum of educators, business leaders, elected officials, and advocates today to discuss increasing access to STEAM education. Congresswoman Bonamici is a founding member of the Congressional STEAM Caucus, which advocates for the integration of the arts into STEM education as a tool for encouraging creative thinking and engaging more students.
“The future of our economy relies on an educated workforce to create and fill the jobs of the 21st century,” Congresswoman Bonamici said. “As a member of the Subcommittee on Research and Technology, I am working to ensure that today’s schools are meeting our country’s needs, especially in STEAM fields that produce skilled workers and creative thinkers.”
“This event helps put STEAM in the greater context of our economy and emphasizes its importance at every level: access, education, and work,” said Maria Caballero-Rubio, Executive Director of Centro Cultural and a presenter at the forum. “STEAM helps us examine the natural parallels between the artistic process and the scientific process, helping educators reach all learners,” said Marna Stalcup, Director of Arts Education, Regional Arts & Culture Council and Founding Program Manager, The Right Brain Initiative.
The presenters at the forum work to promote STEAM education in diverse communities. “We need to ensure that we are creating equitable opportunities for everyone. Girls and youth of color need to be exposed to those career pathways that only a select few have the opportunity to see,” said Deena Pierott, Founder of iUrban Teen, which educates and inspires young men of color to become technology leaders through mentoring and on-going training.
“Women and minorities are underrepresented in STEM fields,” Congresswoman Bonamici said. “This is a problem we must overcome in order to have a diverse workforce ready to meet the growing demands of employers.”
“STEM professions in the United States have grown at three times the rate of non-STEM jobs in the last ten years, and are projected to continue on this trajectory,” said Kelly McCollum, Co-Founder of Yellow Scope, which designs and and manufactures rigorous and creative science kits for girls. “Currently, there aren’t enough qualified candidates to fill all of these positions. Encouraging more women to pursue STEM careers can help fill this gap.”
“Oregon, once again, has proven to be a leader in this job creating field,” said Congresswoman Bonamici. “I am grateful to our panelists today for their expertise and look forward to bringing their ideas back to D.C. to incorporate into federal policy initiatives.”