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Congressional STEAM Caucus Launched

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Feb 14, 2013

This February, Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL)  announced the formation of the Congressional STEAM Caucus. The group will host briefings and advocate for policy changes that will encourage educators to integrate arts, broadly defined, with traditional Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) curriculum. The goal of this bipartisan caucus is to encourage the creativity needed to drive our innovation economy forward. The formation of the caucus follows Representative Jim Langevin's reintroduction of House Resolution 51 at the start of this year's Congressional session. The Resolution posits that "adding art and design" to STEM fields "encourages innovation and economic growth in the US." A kickoff briefing sponsored by the Rhode Island School of Design was held February 14 on Capitol Hill.

"We frequently discuss the importance of STEM education, but we can't ignore the importance of engaging and educating both halves of the brain," Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici said in a press release announcing the formation of the new caucus.

Congressman Aaron Schock added, "Studies have shown that arts education increases test scores and lowers dropout rates. [It] helps to close the achievement gap, improves academic skills essential for reading and language development, and advances students' motivation to learn."

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