White House Summit Will Help Inform Next 5-Year STEM Education Strategy
PHOENIX, June 4, 2018 – President and CEO Steven G. Zylstra of the Arizona Technology Council and Sandra Watson, president & CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority were recently nominated by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey to attend the first-of-its-kind State-Federal Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education Summit hosted by The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) on June 25-26, 2018, in Washington, D.C.
“I am honored to join Sandra and other state STEM leaders and grateful to our Governor for nominating me to attend this important summit to bring Arizona’s STEM education initiatives to federal attention,” said Zylstra. “More than 9,800 computing occupations are currently unfulfilled in Arizona alone. Making STEM a fundamental component in education nationwide will prepare American students for a 21stcentury economy and build a robust, globally competitive economy.”
STEM programs currently run by the Arizona Technology Council Foundation for which Zylstra is also the president and CEO include the Arizona SciTech Festival, Arizona Science Bowl, Chief Science Officers, and Science for All.
“I’m very honored to be nominated by Governor Ducey to represent Arizona in this very important summit,” said Watson. “The State of Arizona prides itself on its ability to provide a skilled and talented workforce for companies in all industries. This focus on STEM education ensures Arizona will continue to be a source of talent for companies that focus on innovation and provide high-quality jobs.”
According to the OSTP, the State-Federal STEM Education Summit will convene a diverse group of state STEM leaders, including officials from governors’ offices, K-20 educators, workforce and industry representatives, State policy experts, and non-government organization executives. These attendees will participate in the development of a new Federal 5-Year STEM Education Strategic Plan in compliance with America COMPETES Act of 2010.
“This event is the first time an administration has asked for this level of State input when developing a Federal STEM education strategy,” said Jeff Weld, senior policy advisor and assistant director for STEM education at OSTP. “Top-down approaches to STEM education can often yield wonderful ideas, but it’s at the State and community level where the momentum happens. State leaders know best what kinds of programs will work in their communities, and where they need the power of the Federal government to help drive success in this field. STEM education is critical to preparing our students for the jobs of the future. We must do everything we can to ensure that federal, state, local, and tribal governments, communities, educators, and private industry partners are united for the long-term success of our Nation.”
Alongside OSTP in planning and carrying out this Summit are the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the Smithsonian Institution. STEM leaders from all 50 states, as well as U.S. territories and tribes, will attend the Summit to illuminate and advance State-Federal STEM alignment.
In 1976, Congress established OSTP to provide the President and others within the Executive Office of the President with advice on the scientific, engineering, and technological aspects of the economy, national security, homeland security, health, foreign relations, the environment, and the technological recovery and use of resources, among other topics. OSTP also leads interagency science and technology policy coordination efforts, assists the Office of Management and Budget with an annual review and analysis of Federal research and development in budgets, and serves as a source of scientific and technological analysis and judgment for the President with respect to major policies, plans, and programs of the Federal Government.