In a nod toward the need to increase STEM interest among K – 12 students, Congress has passed House Resolution 77, the Academic Competition Resolution of 2013. The resolution establishes an academic STEM competition for students in Congressional districts. The initial competition is an App Challenge – students must build an app for mobile, tablet, and computer platforms.
The “findings” of Congress listed in the resolution include:
STEM fields have been, and continue to be, vital to a healthy and thriving United States.
STEM fields are even more important in a world and nation of continuous and rapid technological advancements and needs.
STEM fields are necessary to ensure a qualified national workforce and growing American economy, and a recent study predicted that one-half of all STEM jobs in 2020 will be related to the field of computer science.” And “A recent study found that only 9 States allowed computer science courses to count toward high school students’ core graduation requirements.
The global economy demands that the United States continue to lead the world in innovation, creativity, and STEM-related research.
It is appropriate for the House of Representatives to institute a new and worthwhile competition to encourage students to participate in STEM studies and research.
Rapid technological change means the competition will evolve over time and will challenge students in specialized areas of science, technology, engineering and math to ensure maximum participation. Because of the importance of computer science it would be appropriate to initially challenge students to develop so-called `apps’ for mobile, tablet, and computer platforms.