Issue: Science Engagement & STEM Education
Museums, science centers, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, and other cultural institutions have an important role to play in increasing the understanding of and engagement with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) among people of all ages. As museums are key partners in ensuring Americans’ lifelong engagement in STEM, we urge Congress to:
- support federal agency efforts to implement the 5-year Federal STEM Education Strategic Plan;
- fully fund and authorize museums to participate in STEM engagement and informal STEM education programs across federal science agencies;
- fund the following programs at levels that meet or exceed inflation-adjusted levels from recent years: NSF’s Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program at $65 million, NOAA’s Office of Education at $35 million, NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement at $130 million and Science Mission Directorate’s Science Engagement and Partnerships Division at $47 million, and NIH’s Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) program at $22.5 million; and
- regard museums as vital components of the STEM education ecosystem, including by ensuring that such organizations are eligible for relevant federal funding opportunities and represented at appropriate conversations convened by federal agencies.