Sec’y DeVos, Policy & Business Leaders Praise CEE; Confirm STEM Education is a Priority for All Students

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DeVos, Policy-Makers, Business Leaders Confirm Science And Technology
Education Needed To Grow U.S. Innovation

Center for Excellence in Education’s Annual Congressional Luncheon Calls for STEM Education
to Be a Priority for All Students

McLean, VA (April 18, 2018) — The Center for Excellence in Education (CEE), a nonprofit dedicated to improving STEM education through national and international programs for students and teachers, appealed to leaders in business, academia, and public policy to make STEM education a priority for all students at its Annual Congressional Luncheon today held at the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C.

“To keep and grow U.S. leadership in science and mathematics, leaders in science, technology, and business must advance programs that both identify and nurture top achieving STEM students while also helping all students to maximize their potential to contribute to this country’s technological and scientific future,” said CEE President Joann DiGennaro.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos praised CEE’s mission. “I really admire the work of this organization. You were promoting STEM before STEM was cool,” she said.

Secretary DeVos noted that the latest PISA scores (Program for International Student Assessment) ranked the U.S. 25th in science and 40th in math compared to our international peers and set forth the imperative to improve U.S. student achievement in STEM. “I think there’s no better group than in this room to help continue to raise the flag on the fact that this is just not acceptable. We can and must do better than this. Our economic future depends on our doing better than this and I would also argue that our national security is hinged and tied to our imperative to do better than this,” she said.

Rep. Jacky Rosen (NV), who serves on the House Science, Space, and Technology committee and is a former software developer, praised CEE at the Annual Luncheon for its programs making STEM education more accessible. “Across the country, we’re continuing to see a huge demand for workers in STEM fields…but despite these increasing opportunities, not enough Americans have the STEM skills and STEM education. So it’s organizations like CEE that are rising to the challenge by providing thousands of under-served students with access to that kind of education,” she said.

Rep. Rob Wittman (VA), who serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Committee on Natural Resources, predicts a huge demand for a STEM-trained workforce. “In the future, 85 percent of the jobs that will be out there will require some form of science,
technology, engineering, and math. I tell students that if you’re not at least having some understanding in those realms then you need to,” he said.
Rep. Anthony Brown (MD), who serves on the House Armed Services Committee, said there are 40,000 cybersecurity jobs that are unfilled today in this country. “That’s why I make the argument that the non-defense investment in education is a national security issue because when we invest in education that’s what’s going to generate the workforce that’s going to fill those national security jobs,” adding that CEE’s mission “is more critically important now than ever before.”
“In San Diego, innovation in science, technology, engineering, and math are creating the next wave of jobs and investing in STEM ensures students are prepared to fill those positions,” said Rep. Scott Peters (CA), who represents San Diego and eagerly announced to the luncheon attendees that CEE’s USA Biology Olympiad will be co-sponsored for the first time with University of California San Diego in June.
Rep. Peters, who an Honorary Member of CEE’s Board of Trustees and serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, added “I am honored to join the Center for Excellence in Education, a standout organization that nurtures thousands of young minds with STEM education, to discuss how we can improve STEM programs in the U.S. and worldwide.”
Dr. James Bird, Professor at Boston University’s College of Engineering, delivered the keynote address, “The Science of Bubbles.” His address discussed many of the applications of drops and bubbles including how bubbles may help deliver medicine; how bubbles can contribute to the spread of respiratory illnesses such as Legionnaire’s disease; and how bubble science may help the Navy save some of the more than $100 million a year it spends cleaning barnacles, algae, and other organic mess off surface ships. Dr. Bird’s research focuses on interfacial fluid dynamics with an emphasis on the dynamics of drops and bubbles.
CEE’s Annual Congressional Luncheon celebrates 35 years of success through its impactful STEM education programs: the Research Science Institute (RSI) at MIT, the USA Biology Olympiad (USABO), the Department of Defense Internships, and the Teacher Enrichment Program (TEP).
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About the Center for Excellence in Education (
The Center for Excellence in Education was founded in 1983 by the late Admiral H.G. Rickover and Joann P. DiGennaro, President of the Center. The Center's mission is to nurture high school and university scholars to careers of excellence and leadership in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and to encourage collaboration between and among leaders in the global community.




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