ACS joins broader STEM community in call for Presidential Leadership on STEM Education

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March 12, 2021

The Honorable Joseph Biden Jr.
The White House

Dear Mr. President:

On behalf of our broad community of organizations united in the goal of advancing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, we are writing to urge you to use your White House “bully pulpit” to the maximum extent possible to highlight the critical role that learning in the STEM subjects plays in advancing our country’s technological leadership and economic future.

We applaud your Administration for making investments in education a central element of the Build It Back Better agenda to promote U.S. prosperity and innovation in an increasingly competitive, technology-driven world. Over the course of the past year, enormous, longstanding gaps in educational attainment and equity and have become visible and been exacerbated by our response to COVID and its impacts on the education system, especially for our youngest and most high-need students. Reopening our schools safely must be a priority to get the country back on its feet and headed towards a future where every child will have a chance to learn the skills they need to succeed in the evolving modern world – which are overwhelmingly in the STEM fields.

Excellence in STEM should be embraced as a bedrock element in conquering the challenges of today and tomorrow, including protecting human health, modernizing our infrastructure, harnessing the data revolution, digital skills, and computer science, protecting our environment and fostering equity for those who have been underserved by our communities. American recovery from COVID and its economic disruptions demands having a world-class and equitable education system that broadens authentic participation in STEM to all communities of learners and enables them to compete successfully for the best jobs of the future

Your personal leadership is an essential element in sending our students and teachers the message that excellence in the STEM subjects is a crucial national priority and is accessible to all. To this end, we would encourage you to:

  • Re-launch the White House Science and Engineering Fair and other similar events such as Maker Faires, Hour of Code, Future City Competition, and Astronomy Night;
  • Recognize Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching winners and other teaching and student leadership awards at the White House;
  • Personally visit science and technology agencies and facilities across the federal government and public schools with excellent STEM programs, especially those in underserved communities;
  • Attend a space launch;
  • Elevate and praise the winners of national competitive STEM team events such as robotics competitions, Science Olympiads, transportation technology, building design, and other similar teamwork events in the same manner as the winners of the Super Bowl and World Series.

Whether virtual or in-person once conditions permit, these types of events – and the President’s personal presence at them – send a huge signal about the United States’ commitment to the importance of science, technology, engineering and math and the importance these subjects – and equity and diversity within these fields – to our future.

Unfortunately, during the COVID pandemic, far too many schools have turned away from a strong focus on the STEM subjects as they have struggled to maintain their operations with insufficient federal support. This shift has happened even more acutely at the PK-5 level, where there hasn’t been a sufficient STEM emphasis for many years.

We need to reverse this trend before a generation of students falls behind in the knowledge and skills they will need to support our recovery, achieve equity, and propel us forward. Your personal and visible leadership in elevating the profile of education in the critical STEM subjects will have a meaningful impact toward this goal, as will prioritizing funding for federal programs that are essential to student success in STEM subjects in your first budget.


STEM Education Coalition
National Science Teaching Association
Universal Technical Institute
American Chemical Society
Hands on Science Partnership
American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers
American Society for Engineering Education
American Society of Landscape Architects
National Consortium of Secondary STEM Schools
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
North American Association for Environmental Education
Afterschool Alliance
Society of Women Engineers
Education Development Center
Campaign for Environmental Literacy
Association of Science Technology Centers
National Society of Black Engineers
Qualcomm Incorporated
National Science Education Leadership Association
Council of State Science Supervisors
New York Hall of Science
North Carolina State University
Vernier Software & Technology
STEM Next Opportunity Fund
Texas Tech University
Girls Inc.
Delaware State University
ITEEA - International Technology and Engineering Educators Association
National Center for Women & Information Technology
American Modeling Teachers Association
National Association of Secondary School Principals
American Council of Engineering Companies
National STEM Honor Society
SAE International
American Mathematical Society
Center for STEM Education, University of NC at Charlotte
Mentoring Youth Through Technology
Destination Imagination, Inc.
NEPA STEM Ecosystem of Pennsylvania
Youth Science Center
Defined Learning
The Goddard School
Thinking Media - Learning Blade
Start Engineering

Philadelphia Education Fund
Philadelphia STEM Ecosystem
Pennsylvania Statewide STEM Ecosystem
The Academy of Science - St. Louis
Building STEAM Bridges / STEAM 4 Parents
ENGINE of Central PA STEM Learning Ecosystem
Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
Texas Girls Collaborative Project
Rent-A-Theme Entertainment
Visions Academy
Stemnastics LLC
Bytes For Bits
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Inglewood Graduate Chapter (Phi Beta Beta)
SOSSI- Saving Our Sons & Sisters International
Philadelphia Regional Institute for STEM Educators
Minnesota Science Teachers Association
Minnesota Earth Science Teachers Association
Minnesota Academy of Science
Rural Activation Innovation Network - RAIN
Bisbee Science Lab
Arizona Computer Science for All
Botanical Society of America
Vermont Afterschool
Wisconsin Afterschool Network
ProjectEngin LLC
Challenger K8 School
Nevada Governor's Office of Science, Innovation and Technology
Beyond School Bells
Hoover City Schools
Hughes STEM High School
Edventure More (EDMO®)
Center for STEM Education, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
South Shade Crest Elementary School
21st Century Energy
ITEEA-International Technology and Engineering Educators Association
Avila Media NFP
Sci Math Mn
Deer Valley Elementary School, Hoover, AL
Northern Tier Counseling Inc
STEM Learning Design, LLC
AIMS Center for Math and Science Education
Ohio Technology and Engineering Educators Association
Avila Media NFP
Pinnacle Academy
The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art & Technology
North Dakota STEM Ecosystem
Gateway to Science Center Inc.
Greater Oregon STEM Hub