NASA Releases ‘INSPIRE Women Act’ Report on Engaging Girls in STEM
Washington, DC — U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14), member of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee and co-chairman of the STEM Education Caucus, today welcomed a report from NASA on their plans and programs to education and inspire the next generation of women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers. The INSPIRE Women Act, which Rep. Hultgren cosponsored and became law February 28, 2017, mandated the report. The law encourages women and girls to consider careers in STEM through mentorships and outreach by retired NASA scientists, engineers, innovators and astronauts.
Last month, Rep. Hultgren hosted a Women in STEM community event featuring Illinois Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti and women professionals in manufacturing, food flavoring, medicine, education and other STEM fields.
“Through its unparalleled achievements, NASA has inspired an untold number of young people to become astronauts, scientists, researchers, engineers and more. Further, NASA’s programs in STEM education and cutting edge learning show proven results and have inspired countless numbers of students to pursue careers in innovation and discovery,” said Rep. Hultgren. “One of the most valuable tools to serve underrepresented groups has been NASA mentorship programs. These programs allow students to work hands-on with groundbreaking technology alongside some of the most brilliant minds in the nation, which is why Congress passed the INSPIRE Women Act to propel these great programs forward.
“Setting students on a STEM trajectory changes their life and our nation’s for the better, and I welcome this report which lays out how NASA is continuing to engage girls to increase their STEM activities. NASA’s unique mission of research and discovery is an American endeavor we share together. Now, we must do our best to ensure that all girls and all boys are given the same opportunity to be inspired. I look forward to the day when we all will share in the innovations and technologies they create.”
In its report, NASA indicated it is developing a comprehensive plan to increase engagement of women and girls with plans to begin implementation in 2018. NASA’s efforts will focus on six areas:
- Equipping employees for interaction
- Developing and distributing content
- Enhancing mentoring opportunities
- Leveraging and developing partnerships
- Creating a community of support through networking and mentorship
- Designing relevant engagement strategies and activities