By Ralph Forsht, Manager, Advocacy and Legislative Affairs
Posted on 2023-10-11
House Science Committee Examines Impact of the CHIPS and Science Act
Last month, the House Science Committee held a hearing to focus on the one-year anniversary of the passage of the CHIPS (Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors) and Science Act of 2022. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo was the lone witness, and while much of the hearing concentrated on the semiconductor industry and the new “Technology Hubs” being created in partnerships with states and the private sector at targeted locations nationwide, the Secretary also fielded questions from members of Congress regarding how the CHIPS and Science Act was impacting the workforce and science and STEM educational opportunities.
Democrat and Republican committee members asked specific questions regarding STEM education at the K–12 and higher education levels. Topics ranged from the need to expand science and STEM learning opportunities in rural and underserved areas of the country to identifying and supporting more STEM teachers to better meet the needs of this emerging workforce. Secretary Raimondo cited specific STEM efforts at several community colleges that were recently launched as a result of the new legislation. Raimondo also referenced the extra $200 million the National Science Foundation (NSF) received in fiscal year 2023 to help advance science and STEM educational and workforce opportunities. In her testimony to Congress, she stated, “We will continue to work with partners across the interagency, including the National Science Foundation, which oversees $200 million for the CHIPS workforce; the DoD [Department of Defense]; Department of Energy; and others to achieve these goals.”
A healthy and supportive bipartisan discussion took place throughout the hearing as members discussed the future impact of the CHIPS and Science Act. Increasing STEM learning opportunities surfaced as a top and necessary priority for everyone. House Science Committee Chair Frank Lucas (R-OK) released the following official statement at the hearing: “As I like to remind people, the ‘chips’ portion of the bill will build factories today, but the ‘and science’ portion will build American technology for generations to come.”
NSF Launches Science and STEM Teaching Initiatives
NSF recently launched several funding opportunities for advancing and supporting science and STEM teaching at the K–12 and higher education levels. These new and expanded programs were financed by an extra $200 million of NSF funding that was authorized by the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022. Among the new and expanded NSF programs are the following:
Click here to learn more about these exciting NSF programs.
The mission of NSTA is to transform science education to benefit all through professional learning, partnerships, and advocacy.