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Media Advisory 11-020

National Convocation Highlights STEM Education and Innovation as Drivers of Long Term Economic Growth and Job Creation

Sept. 19th event at Drexel University in Philadelphia brings together Congressman, government leaders and educators to share effective approaches in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, with more than 30 interactive exhibits showing the latest innovations supporting science teaching and learning

Photo of a student soldering together a solar-powered robot.

A student participant of the NSF-supported GreenFab project solders together a solar-powered robot.

September 14, 2011

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

According to a just-released report issued by the National Research Council (NRC), the primary drivers of future economic growth and job creation will be innovations largely derived from advances in science and engineering. An increasing number of jobs at all levels--not just for professional scientists--require knowledge of STEM. The stakes are high.

A study of students' STEM and literacy performance on international assessments makes the case that, if the U.S. could significantly increase students' skills, an estimated $100 trillion would be added to the U.S. economy over the next 80 years.

To focus national attention on the NRC report, on September 19 at Drexel University in Philadelphia, a convocation of members of Congress, government leaders and educators will share lessons learned based on the NRC study of successful K-12 STEM education, with an expected audience  of 300 educators and business professionals.

The recommendations of the NRC report are key to building on a way forward for schools, districts and policy makers in improving STEM teaching and learning in classrooms across the country. The report was prepared with funding from the National Science Foundation. The report was requested by Congressman Frank Wolf (R-Va.), chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce Justice Science and related agencies.

This event brings together STEM educators to put the ideas from the report into action. A full day of events, highlighted in this agenda, should promote a rich discussion of the role of common standards, STEM learning outside of school, equal access, and other topics.

Among the scheduled speakers are:

  • Congressman Chaka Fattah, 2nd District of Pennsylvania
  • Subra Suresh, National Science Foundation Director
  • Cora Marrett, National Science Foundation Deputy Director
  • Carl Wieman, Associate Director for Science, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
  • Joan Ferrini-Mundy, National Science Foundation Assistant Director for Education and Human Resources

Among more than 30 interactive exhibits are:

  • SpelBots: African-American Women Showcasing Robotics and Computer Science to Underrepresented K-12 Students
  • Design Squad: Inspiring a New Generation of Engineers (with representatives from the popular PBS series)
  • The FabLab Classroom: Preparing Students for the Next Industrial Revolution

Media interested in attending should contact Maria Zacharias at


Media Contacts
Maria C. Zacharias, NSF, (703) 292-8454, email:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2022 budget of $8.8 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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