2253 112th CONGRESS
H. R. 2253
To establish within the Department of Education
the Innovation Inspiration school grant program, and for other purposes.IN
THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
June 21, 2011
BASS of New Hampshire introduced the following bill; which was referred to the
Committee on Education and the Workforce
establish within the Department of Education the Innovation Inspiration school
grant program, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted
by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in
SECTION 1. FINDINGS.
makes the following findings:
(1) According to the National
Science Board's 2008 Science and Engineering Indicators, only 5 percent of American
college graduates major in engineering, compared with 13 percent of European students
and 20 percent of students in Asia.
(2) Although United
States fourth graders score well against international competition, United States
students fall near the bottom or dead last by 12th grade in mathematics and science,
(3) Admissions requirements for undergraduate
engineering schools include a solid background in mathematics (algebra, geometry,
trigonometry, and calculus) and science (biology, chemistry, and physics), in
addition to courses in English, social studies, and humanities.
(4) According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall engineering employment
is expected to grow by 11 percent over the 2008 through 2018 decade, and, as a
group, engineers earn some of the highest average starting salaries among individuals
holding bachelor's degrees.
(5) According to the Department
of Labor, engineers should be creative, inquisitive, analytical, and detail-oriented.
Engineers should be able to work as part of a team and to communicate well, both
orally and in writing. Communication abilities are becoming increasingly important
as engineers interact more frequently with specialists in a wide range of fields
(6) Exposure to project- and problem-based
learning, in a competitive team environment, gives 9th through 12th graders the
skills the students need to be successful in engineering programs of study and
(7) According to Brandeis University's
Center for Youth and Communities, participants in FIRST Robotics (a nonprofit
organization that inspires young people to be science and technology leaders by
engaging the young people in mentor-based programs)--
(A) are more likely to attend college full-time than nonparticipants (88 percent
versus 53 percent);
(B) are nearly 2 times as
likely to major in a science or engineering field; and
(C) are more than 3 times as likely to have majored specifically in engineering.
ENTITY- The term `eligible entity' means--
local educational agency; or
(B) if a local
educational agency chooses not to apply for a grant under this Act, a secondary
school served by the nonapplying local educational agency.
(2) LOCAL EDUCATIONAL AGENCY- The term `local educational agency' has the meaning
given the term in section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of
1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801).
(3) POVERTY LINE- The term `poverty
line' has the meaning given the term in section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary
Education Act of 1965.
(4) SECONDARY SCHOOL- The term
`secondary school' has the meaning given the term in section 9101 of the Elementary
and Secondary Education Act of 1965.
(5) SECRETARY- The
term `Secretary' means the Secretary of Education.
STEM- The term `STEM' means science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.
3. INNOVATIVE INSPIRATION SCHOOL GRANT PROGRAM.
(a) Goals of Program-
The goals of the Innovation Inspiration grant program are--
(1) to provide opportunities for eligible entities to support non-traditional
STEM education teaching methods;
(2) to support the participation
of students in nonprofit robotics or STEM competitions;
(3) to foster innovation and broaden interest in and access to careers in the
STEM fields by investing in programs supported by teachers and professional mentors
who receive hands-on training and ongoing communications that strengthen the interactions
of the teachers and mentors with--
(A) students on
competitive robotics or STEM teams; and
other students in the STEM classrooms and communities of the teachers and mentors;
(4) to encourage the collaboration among students,
engineers, and professional mentors to design, build, program, and compete in
challenges with sophisticated robots.
(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary is authorized to award grants, on a competitive
basis, to eligible entities to enable the eligible entities--
(A) to promote STEM in secondary schools;
to support the participation of secondary school students in robotics or STEM
(C) to broaden secondary school
students' access to careers in STEM.
The Secretary shall award each grant under this Act for a period of not more than
(3) AMOUNTS- The Secretary shall award a grant
under this Act in an amount that is sufficient to carry out the goals of this
(1) IN GENERAL-
Each eligible entity desiring a grant under this Act shall submit an application
to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and containing such information
as the Secretary may reasonably require.
The application shall, at a minimum, include a description of how the eligible
(A) carry out each of the elements
of a robotics or STEM competition described in subparagraphs (B) through (F) of
(B) establish robotics or
STEM competition programs to inspire students in grades 9 through 12 to become
innovators in STEM;
(C) identify and recruit
mentors for the programs described in subparagraph (B) and the participants in
(D) support teachers who lead
the programs and participants in the programs through stipends or other incentives;
(E) recruit young women and individuals from populations traditionally underrepresented
in the STEM fields to participate in the programs;
(F) identify public and private partners that can support the programs with cash
or in-kind contributions;
(G) plan for sustaining
the programs financially beyond the grant period; and
(H) evaluate the grant project and the results of the grant project among participating
(i) comparing students
who participate in the grant project to similar students who do not so participate;
(I) secondary school graduation rates;
(II) college-going rates;
(III) the number of students taking advanced STEM related secondary school classes;
(IV) the ability of students
participating in the grant project to partner with professional mentors.
(3) PREFERENCE- In developing the criteria for grant awards under this Act, the
Secretary shall give preference to an application that addresses the needs of--
(A) a rural or urban school;
(B) a low-performing
school or school district; or
(C) a local educational
agency or school that serves--
(i) not fewer
than 10,000 children from families with incomes below the poverty line; or
(ii) a student population not less than 20 percent of whom are from families with
incomes below the poverty line.
(1) IN GENERAL- Each eligible entity that receives a grant under this Act may
use the grant funds for the following:
(A) STEM EDUCATION
AND CAREER ACTIVITIES- Promotion of STEM education and career activities.
(B) PURCHASE OF PARTS- The purchase of parts required to support participation
in team robotics or STEM competitions.
INCENTIVES AND STIPENDS- Incentives and stipends for teachers involved in robotics
or STEM competitions.
(D) SUPPORT AND EXPENSES-
Support and expenses for participation in regional and national robotics or STEM
(E) ADDITIONAL MATERIALS AND SUPPORT-
Additional materials and support, such as equipment, facility use, and other expenses,
directly associated with robotics or STEM competitions.
(F) EVALUATION- Carrying out the evaluation described in subsection (c)(2)(H).
(2) NONPROFIT COMPETITIONS- Grant funds made available under this Act for robotics
or STEM competitions shall only be used to support participation in nonprofit
robotics or STEM competitions.
(3) ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS-
Each eligible entity that receives a grant under this Act may use not more than
2 percent of the grant funds for administrative costs related to the administration
of the project supported by the grant.
(e) Matching Requirement-
(1) IN GENERAL- Subject to paragraph (2), each eligible entity that receives a
grant under this Act shall secure, toward the cost of the activities assisted
under the grant, from non-Federal sources, an amount equal to 50 percent of the
grant. The non-Federal contribution may be provided in cash or in kind.
(2) WAIVER- The Secretary may waive all or part of the matching requirement described
in paragraph (1) for an eligible entity if the Secretary determines that applying
the matching requirement would result in a serious financial hardship or a financial
inability to carry out the goals of the grant project.
Supplement, Not Supplant- Grant funds provided to an eligible entity under this
Act shall be used to supplement, and not supplant, funds that would otherwise
be used for activities authorized under this Act.
(1) COMMUNICATIONS AND OUTREACH PROGRAM- From
amounts appropriated to carry out this Act for a fiscal year, the Secretary shall
establish a communications and outreach program to publicize--
(A) non-traditional teaching methods applicable to STEM; and
(B) the availability and application procedure for the grant program established
by this Act.
(2) GRANT EVALUATION PROGRAM- The Secretary
shall establish an evaluation program to determine the efficacy of the grant program
established by this Act, which shall include assessing the impact, of student
participation in the grant project assisted under this Act, on future course-taking
and postsecondary study, by comparing students so participating to similar students
who do not so participate.
(3) STEM EVALUATION PROGRAM-
(A) EVALUATION- The Secretary shall evaluate existing Federal STEM education programs
to determine whether there are any duplicative programs.
(B) REPORTS- Upon completing the evaluation--
(i) the Secretary shall submit to Congress, a report on the results of the evaluation,
including recommendations on consolidating existing, duplicative Federal STEM
education programs; and
(ii) the Director
of the Office of Management and Budget shall submit to Congress, a report on the
savings resulting from carrying out the Secretary's recommendations under clause
(h) Funding- This Act shall be revenue neutral.