Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik has co-led two bills to promote creativity and innovation by integrating art and design into programs that support STEM education with Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Congressman James Langevin (D-RI).

Bonamici, Langevin, and Stefanik are all advocates for STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) education. They introduced the Building STEAM Education Act and STEM to STEAM Act of 2019 to increase federal funding and resources for STEAM education initiatives.

“Modern education has taken great strides in incorporating artistic expression and design into STEM,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “In order to create new solutions for complex problems, our students must be equipped to think in a creative and innovative fashion. Our North Country economy, and our 21st century economy as a whole, will continue to benefit significantly from STEAM education in schools. I’m proud to co-lead and support both the Building STEAM Education Act and STEM to STEAM Act with my colleagues to help the next generation succeed in their future careers.”

“Integrating arts and design into STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) creates more inclusive classrooms and inspires students to be more innovative,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, Chair of the Education & Labor Committee’s Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services. “Expanding STEAM programs will empower the next generation of our workforce to think creatively and solve new problems. Thank you to Representatives Langevin and Stefanik for working with me to introduce the Building STEAM Education Act and STEM to STEAM Act of 2019, which will provide students with the critical thinking skills they need to succeed in today’s economy and in the jobs of the future.”

“Art and design are integral to a well-rounded education. They help students foster creativity, innovation, and problem-solving skills,” said Congressman Langevin. “The incorporation of art and design into STEM education will provide students with more tools to succeed in the workforce. I am pleased to join Representatives Bonamici and Stefanik in enhancing art and design education by introducing the STEM to STEAM Act of 2019 and the Building STEAM Education Act.”

The Building STEAM Education Act would expand resources and grant opportunities to support STEAM education programs by:

  • Requiring the STEM Education Advisory Panel, which brings together leaders from the National Science Foundation, Department of Education, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to consider ways to integrate art and design in STEM education programs to promote innovation;
  • Directing the National Science Foundation to award Mathematics and Science Education Partnerships grants to develop STEM educational curriculums that incorporate art and design to promote creativity and innovation; and
  • Adding a requirement that Teacher Institutes for the 21st Century funded under the Mathematics and Science Education Partnerships grant program, which provide professional development to STEM teachers in high-need K-12 schools, have a component that includes the integration of art and design principles and processes.

The STEM to STEAM Act promotes the integration of art and design into the NSF’s Advancing Informal STEM Learning program, which supports research and development related to innovative out-of-school STEM programing. Specifically, the bill directs NSF to award grants to support the design and testing of informal STEAM programs to improve educational outcomes, advance the field of STEAM education, and promote creativity and innovation.

A summary of the Building STEAM Act can be found here. A summary of the STEAM to STEAM Act can be found here.

Bonamici and Stefanik are co-chairs of the House STEAM Caucus.