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Legislators hope to integrate STEM and engineering concepts in younger grades

This year, the legislature will decide on a bill to increase STEM funding for schools, according to the New Hampshire Business Review. A bipartisan team of legislators is trying to bring a pre-engineering curriculum into elementary schools using the state’s already existing grant funding program. 

Currently, the state provides matching funds of up to $15,000 for middle schools and $25,000 for high schools to implement pre-engineering programs. The funds are designed to offset the costs of equipment for the tech curriculum. Over 2,000 students participate in the program.

But the bills would expand pre-engineering and STEM to elementary schools:

“You want to get kids excited about STEM at the lowest age,” said Rep. Norman Major, R-Plaistow. “You want them to think, ‘This is cool. Why does it work this way and how can we make an improvement?’”

Reps. Norman Major (Rock-14), Mary Gile (Merr-27), David Murotake (Hills-32), and Rick Ladd (Graf-04) sponsored LSR 43, which will be introduced this session.

The bills have the support of Graphicast CEO Val Zanchuk, who is the chair of both the New Hampshire Pre-Engineering Technology Advisory Council (PETAC) and the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire (BIA). The BIA has been a strong supporter of STEM in all grades.

New Hampshire’s Pre-Engineering Technology Advisory Council (PETAC) helps increase the awareness of the state’s pre-engineering programs. They also advise the Department of Education on the performance of schools’ engineering programs.

Read the full article here.

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