Press Releases

Upton and Dingell Re-Introduce Bipartisan Legislation Championing STEM Education

f t # e
Washington, May 2, 2017 | Lynn Turner/Tom Wilbur (202-225-3761/269-385-0039) | comments

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, and U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Michigan, re-introduced bipartisan legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives that will champion the STEM education program FIRST Robotics. H.R. 5168, the Christa McAuliffe Commemorative Coin Act of 2017, would mint a $1 coin in honor of Christa McAuliffe, the teacher and astronaut who perished in the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, and recognize and support FIRST Robotics.

FIRST Robotics is the nation’s leading not-for-profit Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education program established by inventor Dean Kamen. Once the money is recouped by the U.S. Treasury for the cost of minting the commemorative coin, all of the profits would go to FIRST Robotics. There would be no cost to the taxpayer.

“Michigan has the most FIRST Robotics teams in the country. Students on these teams grow up to become inventors, engineers, small business owners, and community leaders,” said Upton. “A few might even end up as the astronauts whose vision extends beyond our world, to new planets and galaxies – just like Christa McAuliffe. It is vitally important that we continue to encourage this type of inventive learning and team building. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get this legislation passed.”

“FIRST Robotics helps students in Michigan reach for the stars – whether they want to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering or mathematics, this innovative programs helps young people gain the real-world knowledge and skills to help solve some of our most pressing future challenges,” said Dingell. “We need to encourage this talent and creativity. This coin provides a pathway to support these efforts while honoring an individual who inspired generations to enter the STEM field. I am proud to work with Rep. Upton and my colleagues to encourage young people to be at the forefront off innovation and technology.”

Upton and Dingell are joined by original co-sponsors U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Illinois, and U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Oregon.

Upton first introduced the bill last May during the previous Congress.

f t # e