Congressman Joaquin Castro

Representing the 20th District of Texas
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Castro Highlights STEM Education Efforts As San Antonians Go Back To School

Aug 26, 2014
Press Release

San Antonio, TX – Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20) is highlighting the importance of Science, Technology, Math, and Engineering (STEM) education as students in San Antonio head back to school this week. This year, Congressman Castro introduced the Supporting Afterschool STEM Act (H.R.5217), which would create a grant to encourage afterschool programs to bolster STEM learning.  Congressman Castro also continues to support local efforts to make STEM education an integral part of the San Antonio student experience as our city continues to grow as a technology manufacturing hub. This year, the 5th annual CORE4 STEM Expo for students will take place from November 15-19 as part of San Antonio’s STEM week. 

“San Antonio is a city that has grown tremendously over the past few years in population and economic strength. As we continue to diversify our economy and ensure that students who grow up in our city have the opportunity to stay home and contribute to our own community, we must continue to strengthen the educational opportunities in STEM that will lead to 21st Century jobs in innovation and technology. I look forward to getting back to Congress and working to pass important legislation like the Supporting Afterschool STEM Act, as well as working with local businesses and schools here at home to ensure San Antonio prospers in a 21st Century economy.”
The Supporting Afterschool STEM Act is endorsed by afterschool supporters, such as the STEM Education Coalition, the National Science Teachers Association, Education Development Center, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Girls Inc. and a number of statewide afterschool networks across the country including the Texas Partnership for Out-of-School-Time.

“We commend Rep. Castro for his commitment to afterschool programs and their role in STEM education. In Texas and across the country, afterschool providers have enthusiastically embraced STEM as an important component of their offerings for children.  Many providers want and need support and technical assistance to grow and scale their STEM programs.  The Congressman’s bill recognizes this need and will help them get those resources, leveraging existing support systems like the Texas Partnership for Out of School Time and other such statewide afterschool networks.”  
-Jodi Grant, Executive Director, Afterschool Alliance

“The Texas Partnership for Out of School Time is proud to endorse Congressman Castro’s ‘Supporting Afterschool STEM Act’. The grants funded by the bill will expand access to valuable expanded learning opportunities to students across the country by supporting providers to offer fun and engaging STEM programs.  Informal STEM education is a critical component needed to energize the next generation of engineers, researchers, and programmers that will form the backbone of tomorrow’s workforce.”
-Molly Clayton, Executive Director, Texas Partnership for Out of School Time

“After school time is vital to strengthen girls’ knowledge and confidence in STEM. Through challenging, safe, and supportive after school activities, girls gain the critical thinking and team building skills necessary to excel in STEM fields.” 
-Lea Rosenauer, President/CEO of Girls Incorporated of San Antonio

“We are happy that Rep. Castro is introducing the Supporting Afterschool STEM Act in the House.  This bill, like its Senate counterpart, will go a long way in helping to address one of the important challenges in improving STEM education in this country, namely making sure we take advantage of all the opportunities that the so-called “informal” education environment can offer.  From visiting museums to participating in robotics competitions to designing and building and engineering all sorts of hands on learning projects and experiences, the informal and afterschool environment offers students many different ways to engage in the STEM fields and to experience them first hand.  With this bill we are helping advance this debate and utilize all the tools at our disposal in terms of preparing our students for the best STEM jobs of the future.” 
-James Brown, Executive Director, STEM Education Coalition