Thursday, April 27, Senate Bill 225 was favorably amended due to no objections and all green cards in the Hainkel Room. Senate Bill 225 involves support of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) in Louisiana.
This Isn’t a Robot video was used to open the meeting and introduce committee and attendees to STEM. The video shows children of young ages engaging in STEM activities. Robotics Day will be held at the capitol May 25.
Senator Hewitt said, “The state is in need of STEM talent…this is meant to increase student interest and achievement in the fields of science, engineering, technology, and mathematics, to ensure the alignment of education, economic development, industry, and workforce needs, and to increase the number of women who graduate from a post secondary institutions with a STEM degree or credential.”
The cost of this program was the only concern.
Senator Milkovich said, “There’s dynamic potential in this program, I’m just wondering about the cost of it.”
A direct solution for the cost wasn’t discussed, but Hewitt said, “we would research what other states are doing to supply funds …we would research how they’re pulling it all together.”
Senator Boudreaux mentioned statistics of a decrease of women in program and asked if there was a particular reason behind decrease.
Hewitt said, “there is some literature that makes assumptions about women decreasing, but it would be best for committee to evaluate that about Louisiana.
Creating a different culture around STEM by engaging hands on projects was suggested and advised that it would make science fun/encourage women and defer them from stereotypical job/program for males.
Senator Mizell, the only woman on committee, said she’s excited and mentioned Dr. Calvin Mackie, founder of STEM NOLA, organizing Saturday camps for children. A list of Saturday camps can be found here.
Senator Mizell also said, “I don’t want the rural communities to be off the map with this; there should be an emphasis on rural communities.”
Senator Morris closed the meeting by pointing out the fact that this bill received all green cards. Morris said, “apparently you have a very good bill.”