Sen. Gillibrand Pushes Education Agenda

Sen. Gillibrand Education Agenda

      HORSEHEADS---(WENY) Senator Kirsten Gillibrand paid a visit to the Southern Tier Monday to lay out her education agenda.
     The main focal point of Senator Gillibrand's message was to highlight the need to encourage more girls and minorities to pursue careers in math, science, and engineering.
     The senator is pushing for federal grant money to be given to schools to make STEM programs, those focused on science, technology, engineering and math, more inclusive of underrepresented groups.
     Sen. Gillibrand's education agenda is three-fold and introduces three new pieces of legislation, including the Educating Tomorrow's Engineers Act, Computer Science Career Education Act and, the STEM Gateways Act. They are all in an effort to bring more STEM-related K-12 programs to students.
     Such programs include the Mission Control learning center at the Wings of Eagles Discovery Center, which offers hands-on learning outside of the classroom.
      President of the Wings of Eagles Discovery Center, Mike Hall says, "It really gives an environment that's exciting to the kids because when you walk in there, it's not just a regular classroom. You've got consoles and monitors, and what-have-you. It really ups the ante when it comes to the mission."
      And now, with eight-out-of-nine of the fastest growing industries now requiring math and science proficiency, Senator Gillibrand wants to see more minorities and young girls take up STEM-related careers.
     Senator Gillibrand says, "If you just explain to a young girl that learning math, science, and engineering can help people and help communities, they'll be more interested."
     Katie Henkie is a 6th grader at Horseheads Intermediate School who wants to be a marine biologist one day, and says she enjoyed her experience, learning at the Wings of Eagles Mission Control learning center. She said, " I think it was really fun to see how people track hurricanes and how much work goes into it. Instead of things just popping on the screen, you really have to do a lot of work to keep people safe."