SALT LAKE CITY — The leader of initiative pushing science and technology told a House Committee about the funding for digital math learning that has spurred a campaign by the private sector for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education — better know as STEM.
Stan Lockhart, chairman of the Prosperity 2020 STEM Education Initiative and husband of House Speaker Becky Lockhart, R-Provo, started off the Business, Economic Development, and Labor Appropriations Subcommittee meeting by saying funding for STEM education is vital. When the program succeeds the kids will succeed. STEM is an initiative across the U.S. that pushes for young students to get ahead and be competitive in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.
“STEM education is about allowing the kids to achieve their hopes and dreams without being limited by their lack of knowledge in these key areas,” said Lockhart, the former state Republican Party chairman.
He said that since funding has been provided in the past and yielded positive results, the committee should approve new funding because similar results will occur.
The committee also considered funding needs for the Natural History Museum of Utah. Sen. J. Stuart Adams, R-Layton, the Majority Whip, spoke about the significance of the Natural History Museum and what it means to the people of Utah.
“It’s far more than a museum. It’s a gathering spot,” Adams said.
The Natural History Museum of Utah showcases the state of Utah on a national and international scale; the visibility of the museum has become so great that visitation is three times what it has been in the past. Because of this visitation increase, more funds are needed to keep up with wear-and-tear costs as well as upgrades of some of the exhibits to keep people coming back, said Sarah George, the executive director of the Natural History Museum of Utah.
Other proposals at the meeting included a new community theater in Centerville, limiting tobacco to those 21 and more that can be found on the committee’s full agenda here: http://le.utah.gov/interim/2014/pdf/00002120.pdf.