Magazine article National Defense

Rep. Mike Honda Introduces Bill to Boost STEM Education

Magazine article National Defense

Rep. Mike Honda Introduces Bill to Boost STEM Education

Article excerpt

* The chairman of the National Defense Industrial Association's Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics [STEM] Workforce division, Edward Swallow, spoke to Rep. Mike Honda, D-Calif., regarding a bill he recently introduced, the STEM Education Innovation Act.

Honda is Silicon Valley's representative in Congress and a member of the House Appropriations and Budget Committees, chair emeritus of die Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and co-chair of the Democratic Caucus' new media working group.

ES: You recently introduced a bill called the STEM Education Innovation Act with some very interesting concepts for improving STEM education nationwide. What role do you see the defense industrial base playing in helping achieve the goals of this legislation?

MH: Program for International Student Assessment comparisons from 2009 show American students ranking 1 7th out of 34 in science literacy, and 25th out of 34 in math literacy, among students from developed countries. These numbers are a crisis. These numbers are an urgent calí to action.

My legislation, the STEM Education Innovation Act of 201 1 (KR. 3373), answers this call to action. A key component of the legislation calls for American classrooms to be outfitted with cuttingedge technology through the Education Innovation Project. Based on the [Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency] model, the project would guarantee that elementary, middle school, and high school students are using innovative and sophisticated technology in the classroom.

The defense industrial base can be a foremost project partner by developing transformational technologies for the classroom, thereby inspiring America's students to push the boundaries of science, engineering, mathematics and technology research and study - thereby forging an entire generation of young Americans with the inspiration and skill to bolster our nation's position as a global leader in innovation and industry.

ES: The STEM Workforce Division of NDIA has taken a position that the lack of science and math competency has created, or will soon create, a national security crisis because of the lack of innovation in our ability to produce new products and the lack of available talent for the national security work force. What are your views on that? …

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