Eddie Bernice Johnson on the Importance of STEM Education in Underserved Communities

In her recent guest column in the Dallas Morning News, Congresswoman Johnson talked about how STEM learning could be the key to expanding equal opportunities. As today's robust jobs report reflects progress for some, her column reminds us there's still progress to be made for all.

As U.S. jobs continue to bounce back strong, it must be noted that not all communities share the same opportunities. Congresswoman Johnson’s recent column in the DMN bears another look for her belief that STEM education and other resources can empower underserved communities—and help create a whole new generation of leaders.

“Across the nation, Americans innovate every day,” she wrote in her DMN column. “But innovation and ingenuity do not occur only in our national labs, universities, or scientific agencies. A major source of our society’s capacity for creativity and ingenuity, in fact, lies among underserved communities and communities of color.”

“Their enterprising spirit and thirst for knowledge to build a better future for all are strong, and expanding opportunities in STEM, or science, technology, engineering and math, will help them to fully harness that ability and drive,” she added.

As chairwoman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, Johnson has a high-profile view of the future of innovation. That’s confirmed her belief that STEM learning is critical to helping a new generation thrive in the future.

“Imagining the future of our nation’s scientific enterprise is impossible without recognizing that the innovators of tomorrow are today’s young students from across the country, from different communities, different backgrounds and different socio-economic statuses,” she wrote.

A STEM school to carry forth the mission

One school that will carry that mission forward now bears Congressman Johnson’s name.

“Last year, I was honored that the new Wilmer Elementary School was dedicated in my name as Eddie Bernice Johnson Elementary School,” she wrote in the DMN. “And last month, I was proud to learn that Eddie Bernice Johnson Elementary School has officially received approval to become an innovation choice school for STEM education.”

“We need to remove barriers so there are fewer firsts and more celebration of the norm, of girls and boys from all walks of life succeeding in academia,” she added. “A diverse workforce of scientists who accurately reflect the remarkable diversity in the United States. To make sure that innovation is more accessible to everyone, everyone must have the opportunities they deserve to achieve their own American dream.”

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