[USC02] 42 USC 1862s-5: Programs to expand STEM opportunities
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42 USC 1862s-5: Programs to expand STEM opportunities Text contains those laws in effect on February 24, 2020
From Title 42-THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARECHAPTER 16-NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

§1862s–5. Programs to expand STEM opportunities

(a) Findings

Congress makes the following findings:

(1) Economic projections by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that by 2018, there could be 2,400,000 unfilled STEM jobs.

(2) Women represent slightly more than half the United States population, and projections indicate that 54 percent of the population will be a member of a racial or ethnic minority group by 2050.

(3) Despite representing half the population, women comprise only about 30 percent of STEM workers according to a 2015 report by the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics.

(4) A 2014 National Center for Education Statistics study found that underrepresented populations leave the STEM fields at higher rates than their counterparts.

(5) The representation of women in STEM drops significantly at the faculty level. Overall, women hold only 25 percent of all tenured and tenure-track positions and 17 percent of full professor positions in STEM fields in our Nation's universities and 4-year colleges.

(6) Black and Hispanic faculty together hold about 6.5 percent of all tenured and tenure-track positions and 5 percent of full professor positions.

(7) Many of the numbers in the American Indian or Alaskan Native and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander categories for different faculty ranks were too small for the Foundation to report publicly without potentially compromising confidential information about the individuals being surveyed.

(b) Sense of Congress

It is the sense of Congress that-

(1) it is critical to our Nation's economic leadership and global competitiveness that the United States educate, train, and retain more scientists, engineers, and computer scientists;

(2) there is currently a disconnect between the availability of and growing demand for STEM-skilled workers;

(3) historically, underrepresented populations are the largest untapped STEM talent pools in the United States; and

(4) given the shifting demographic landscape, the United States should encourage full participation of individuals from underrepresented populations in STEM fields.

(c) Reaffirmation

The Director of the Foundation shall continue to support programs designed to broaden participation of underrepresented populations in STEM fields.

(d) Grants to broaden participation

(1) In general

The Director of the Foundation shall award grants on a competitive, merit-reviewed basis, to eligible entities to increase the participation of underrepresented populations in STEM fields, including individuals identified in section 1885a or section 1885b of this title.

(2) Center of excellence

(A) In general

Grants awarded under this subsection may include grants for the establishment of a Center of Excellence to collect, maintain, and disseminate information to increase participation of underrepresented populations in STEM fields.

(B) Purpose

The purpose of a Center of Excellence under this subsection is to promote diversity in STEM fields by building on the success of the INCLUDES programs, providing technical assistance, maintaining best practices, and providing related training at federally funded academic institutions.

(3) Research

As a component of improving participation of women in STEM fields, research funded by a grant under this subsection may include research on-

(A) the role of teacher training and professional development, including effective incentive structures to encourage teachers to participate in such training and professional development, in encouraging or discouraging female students in prekindergarten through elementary school from participating in STEM activities;

(B) the role of teachers in shaping perceptions of STEM in female students in prekindergarten through elementary school and discouraging such students from participating in STEM activities;

(C) the role of other facets of the learning environment on the willingness of female students in prekindergarten through elementary school to participate in STEM activities, including learning materials and textbooks, seating arrangements, use of media and technology, classroom culture, and composition of students during group work;

(D) the role of parents and other caregivers in encouraging or discouraging female students in prekindergarten through elementary school from participating in STEM activities;

(E) the types of STEM activities that encourage greater participation by female students in prekindergarten through elementary school;

(F) the role of mentorship and best practices in finding and utilizing mentors; and

(G) the role of informal and after-school STEM learning opportunities on the perception of and participation in STEM activities of female students in prekindergarten through elementary school.

(e) Accountability and dissemination

(1) Evaluation

(A) In general

Not later than 5 years after January 6, 2017, the Director of the Foundation shall evaluate the grants provided under this section.

(B) Requirements

In conducting the evaluation under subparagraph (A), the Director shall-

(i) use a common set of benchmarks and assessment tools to identify best practices and materials developed or demonstrated by the research; and

(ii) to the extent practicable, combine the research resulting from the grant activity under subsection (e) with the current research on serving underrepresented students in grades kindergarten through 8.

(2) Report on evaluations

Not later than 180 days after the completion of the evaluation under paragraph (1), the Director of the Foundation shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress and make widely available to the public a report that includes-

(A) the results of the evaluation; and

(B) any recommendations for administrative and legislative action that could optimize the effectiveness of the program.

(f) Coordination

In carrying out this section, the Director of the Foundation shall consult and cooperate with the programs and policies of other relevant Federal agencies to avoid duplication with and enhance the effectiveness of the program under this section.

( Pub. L. 114–329, title III, §305, Jan. 6, 2017, 130 Stat. 3007 ; Pub. L. 116–102, §4, Dec. 24, 2019, 133 Stat. 3263 .)

Codification

Section was enacted as part of the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act, and not as part of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950 which comprises this chapter.

Amendments

2019-Subsec. (d)(3). Pub. L. 116–102 added par. (3).

Findings

Pub. L. 116–102, §2, Dec. 24, 2019, 133 Stat. 3263 , provided that: "Congress finds the following:

"(1) The National Science Foundation is a large investor in STEM education and plays a key role in setting research and policy agendas.

"(2) While studies have found that children who engage in scientific activities from an early age develop positive attitudes toward science and are more likely to pursue STEM expertise and careers later on, the majority of current research focuses on increasing STEM opportunities for middle school-aged children and older.

"(3) Women remain widely underrepresented in the STEM workforce, and this disparity extends down through all levels of education."

Supporting Early Childhood and Elementary STEM Education Research

Pub. L. 116–102, §3, Dec. 24, 2019, 133 Stat. 3263 , provided that: "In awarding grants under the Discovery Research PreK–12 program, the Director of the National Science Foundation shall consider the age distribution of a STEM education research and development project to improve the focus of research and development on elementary and prekindergarten education."

Definitions

For definitions of terms used in this section, see section 2 of Pub. L. 114–329, set out as a note under section 1862s of this title.