In an effort to encourage New Jersey’s students to explore opportunities in STEM fields, Assembly Democrats Daniel Benson, Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Wayne DeAngelo sponsored a bill to create a pilot program in the Department of Education to support robotics programs in school districts throughout the State. The bill unanimously passed the full Assembly Monday.
Under the bill (A-2455), up to 12 school districts would be selected by the Commissioner of Education to participate in a three-year pilot program seeking to encourage schools to establish robotics programs and participate in robotics competitions. The school districts selected would partner with an approved nonprofit organization to assist them in inspiring students to develop their STEM skills. These school districts would be eligible to receive grant funding to cover the costs of coaching stipends, competition materials, travel, and registration fees.
Upon Assembly approval of the bill, Assembly sponsors Benson (D-Mercer, Middlesex), Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) and DeAngelo (D-Mercer, Middlesex) issued the following joint statement:
“We must do everything we can to provide New Jersey’s students with the opportunity to learn about and pursue careers in STEM fields. By creating robotics programs in school districts throughout New Jersey, we can introduce our students to new experiences and give them the chance to develop the skills they will need to succeed in our technologically advanced world.
“These robotics programs have the potential to teach countless students critical thinking and problem-solving skills that would serve them well in any workplace while showing them the importance and value of a STEM education.”