Monday, April 30, 2012
Please Sign the Science, Engineering & STEM Ed Funding Petition Today - Join 1,500 Others!
ACTION ALERT - Please Sign the Petition to Support Science, Engineering & STEM Education Research - Join with 1,500 other organizations and individuals!
Dear Friend of ASTRA:
We are sending this message to you because you have supported some of our efforts in the Past or requested information from our www.usinnovation.org Web Site.
Please consider immediately signing the petition contained on the link below: www.usinnovation.org/petition-congress If by chance your hyperlink does not work, just paste this link into your Web browser to visit the Petition Sign-on Site.
WHY SIGN THE PETITION - WHAT HAS HAPPENED?:
Congress is at an impasse in passing the FY 2013 Budget and the dynamics of this election year mean that many decisions will be put off until after November 6 - either in a "Lame Duck" session of the current Congress, or a brand new Congress early in 2013.
Sustainable funding for most science & engineering R&D and STEM education programs is in imminent jeopardy because the government must curtail spending - and science, engineering and STEM Education programs are easy "targets of opportunity" because our communities are not as effectively organized as other interests. We need to speak out and let Congress and the Administration know that we do care about choosing the right priorities in these difficult times.
OUR MESSAGE IS NONPARTISAN AND PRACTICAL:
Just about everybody wants the government to live within its means. One has only to look at the situation abroad to see the predicament our own country could be in within the near future if we do not discipline ourselves.
We do know how to grow our way out of economic adversity and we have done so in the past. We are the world's leader in innovation, scientific R&D, STEM talent development, commercialization, and entrepreneurial culture. As opposed to other nations, our own population is growing, our economy is reviving, and our spirit is strong. And we have the strategic resources and ideas that will help us to grow and look forward, not stagnate. But we cannot get out of this negative cycle if we cut the very programs that provide us our strategic strength...
We are in a fiscal crisis. Everybody has to tighten his or her belts. And across the political spectrum, most of us would agree that there are many positive things that can be done about taxes, protecting our taxpayer-funded Intellectual Property (IP) from cyber-thieves, over-regulation, capital formation, and creating growth incentives. We may not agree on how to get there, but most of us agree upon the goals.
That's why Congress needs to remember that funding for scientific & engineering R&D and STEM Education is the SMART WAY to help America grow its way out of our current predicament.
Smart "spending" means supporting sustainable and predictable R&D and STEM Ed programs. These complex undertakings can't just be turned on and off. If we can sustain current R&D and STEM Education efforts, they in turn will help create high-paying new jobs in the U.S., foster new industries and services, enhance innovation and competitiveness, and maintain our national defense.
This is not just our opinion, it is a fact, based upon history and repeated economic analyses. Scientific R&D and STEM education result in scientific discovery, technology progress and innovation. See ASTRA's quick chart that describes how technological progress is the primary driver of economic growth at www.usinnovation.org/sites/default/files/ASTRATechnologyFuelsGrowth6222011.pdf
WHAT TO DO:
ASTRA has been asked by a coalition of groups to continue with our nonpartisan Petition drive supporting science R&D and STEM Education. This Petition will remind our elected officials of who we are, what we do, where we live, and why bipartisan support for R&D and STEM Education is essential to America's future. We already have more than 1,400 organizations and individuals signed up, and we hope to deliver the Petition to Congress and the Administration on or before July 4.
Please consider using our latest 2012 State R&D Sheets (released for the successful Congressional Visits Day 2012 Event in April) and our State STEM Ed Report Cards to get the facts about where the money goes, and the economic and social benefits of such investments at http://www.usinnovation.org/state-research-and-development-sheets
Share these with elected officials if you can.
ACTIONS REQUESTED IMMEDIATELY:
Again, please sign the petition (see link above) immediately. We hope to deliver this to Congress on or before July 4. The petition is nonpartisan, in keeping with ASTRA's goal of not politicizing science and technology policy - just emphasizing the facts and discovering the relationships that explain "how science works" to policy makers.
We also want to "put a human face" on our community. A novel way of reminding our elected officials of who we are - in all of our diversity and walks of life - is to send your photo along with your e-mail Petition signature. So, if you would like, please send us your photo when you "sign" the petition (you will find instructions on the "sign petition" page on how to send your photo to us - it's really easy). A provisional list of initial signatories is also provided as an example for you to review.
Please - Check Out STEMConnector as well!
While our www.usinnovation.org and www.aboutastra.org Web Sites keep current on many developments across our community on a daily basis, ASTRA has moved forward to help fill a critical gap in the area of STEM Education policy. Our newest collaboration, STEMConnector is a first-of-its kind Site that informs and unites the STEM Education community. Please check out www.stemconnector.org to see the tremendous progress being made in mapping and profiling the STEM community. ASTRA helps manage STEMConnector and provides its technology platform to this important new movement. Please consider subscribing to the latest publication, STEMdaily - it will be delivered to you every weekday if you wish. Just click on www.stemconnector.org/STEMdaily
STEM Town Halls are also quarterly webinars on STEM with top-notch speakers from across the spectrum of STEM Education. The objective is to bring together industry, education and thought leaders to learn best practice Others and new ideas. Register for the May 2nd Town Hall: "Workforce Planning to Fill the STEM Jobs Pipeline" by going to
PLEASE SEND THIS MESSAGE ON TO OTHERS:
This message has been sent to approximately 58,000 scientists, engineers, researchers, university employees, teachers, students, technology workers, policy makers, small business owners, researchers, individuals, and others on our "Friends" list. An estimated 195,000 people will be contacted by this message, and we urge you to send it on to any friends, associates and family who may share our interest in signing the Petition.
Thank you, and may all of us have an opportunity to support making science, engineering and STEM Education among our highest priorities as we move forward!
Dr. Mary L. Good