April 28, 2015

Contact: Dan Weber

(202) 225-8699

Edwards Hosts 6th Annual STEM Forum

Washington, DC –Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (MD-4) today hosted Blastoff!, her annual STEM Forum on Capitol Hill, bringing local students from six public schools together with representatives from education, industry, government, and the nonprofit sector to discuss strategies to find and form STEM talent across Maryland. Joined by NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Jr., Edwards spoke to a packed room of middle and high school students, touching on the importance of STEM education and the value of pursuing STEM careers. The first panel, moderated by Dr. Christine Barrow of Prince George’s Community College, addressed the challenges to finding and forming student talent in the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) fields in middle and high school. The second panel, moderated by Ms. Veronica Nelson of Northrop Grumman, addressed the goal of turning challenges into possibilities for the next generation of STEM students.

“The U.S. economy is suffering from a severe shortage of qualified STEM professionals,” Congresswoman Edwards said. “In my work as a Member of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, I see how important the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math are for our nation. I truly believe that the STEM fields are the future – this next generation of STEM students will be the ones to create new inventions and technologies, to find new treatments for diseases, and perhaps even to take humans to Mars. STEM-related careers are also the second-fastest growing jobs in the country, coming in just behind jobs in the health care industry. The United States is on the cutting edge of this new 21st Century economy, and we must promote the engagement of women and minorities in STEM fields so that they can compete and succeed.”