New Federal Law Means CS Is Legally Part of STEM
This is a big deal for several reasons. The article below points out the funding that is now available for computing education research. I met someone from a big science education firm a few weeks ago who said that they were now gearing up to address issues in CS, because it’s now in their purview. That’s a good thing — more people paying more attention to computing education research can help us advance our goals of greater access.
The STEM Education Act of 2015, which expands the definition of STEM—an acronym for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—to include computer science programs, was signed into law yesterday.The bill that became the STEM Education Act was introduced in the House of Representatives by Lamar Smith, a Republican from Texas, and Elizabeth Esty, a Democrat from Conneticut, both members of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee.The new law does not add funding, but it does expand the kinds of STEM programs that can be run and funded by federal government agencies to include computer science. It also makes people who are pursuing a master’s degree and those with a background in computer science eligible for Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarships, which support science and math graduates and professionals who hope to teach.