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Discovery Communications and STEMconnector® to Hold Capitol Hill Symposium on Diversity in STEM Education

Discovery Communications and STEMconnector® today announced the first-ever STEM Diversity Symposium on Capitol Hill to discuss the accomplishments women and minorities have made in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), as well as the importance of encouraging more women and minorities to pursue STEM studies and careers. The symposium will take place on Wednesday, November 13, from 10 a.m. to noon in the Cannon House Office Building’s Cannon Caucus Room.

Held in conjunction with members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the symposium will feature remarks by leaders in Congress on diversity in STEM, including U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono, and a panel discussion and question and answer session moderated by Debbie Myers, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Science Channel.  

The panelists are: NASA astrobiologist and geologist Dr. Jennifer Eigenbrode; electrical engineer and Discovery Channel’s MYTHBUSTERS personality Grant Imahara; astrophysicist Hakeem Oluseyi of Science Channel’s OUTRAGEOUS ACTS OF SCIENCE; Cindy Moss, Director of STEM Initiatives for Discovery Education; and E. Anne Sandel, Executive Director, Surface Warfare for the Naval Sea Systems Command at the U.S. Department of Defense.

“As children we all have an amazing sense of wonder about the world that is largely rooted in science. But somewhere along the way many of us lose that spark of interest in math and science because we’re told it’s not for us,” said Debbie Myers, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Science Channel. “Discovery Communications and Science Channel are committed to diversity in STEM because it’s a driving force in keeping that spark alight.'”

"Diversity is the essence of this nation, as within five years 51% of those who are under 18 years old will be minority youth,” said Edie Fraser, CEO of STEMconnector®. “STEMconnector® is proud to partner with Discovery Communications in this congressional session with all attendees and participants committed to using and seeing diversity as the advantage that it is.”

“The importance of STEM education cannot be underestimated as many of the things that we take for granted every day, such as smartphones or even the Internet, sprang from some kind of STEM background,” said Grant Imahara, electrical engineer and Discovery Channel’s MYTHBUSTERS personality. “I am so greatly honored to be able to contribute to this panel because I feel that it is our duty to give today’s kids the push they need in the right direction and inspire them to pursue careers in STEM. America needs the next generation of great thinkers and inventors, but without a strong STEM initiative, that won't happen, and this panel is a positive step towards securing our future.”

“There is no doubt that the future of the global economy will be increasingly based in the STEM fields. While our nation is proud of our entrepreneurs and scientists, other countries are catching up. That’s why it is imperative we invest in STEM education and training opportunities to ensure our students are ready for the jobs of the future. Mahalo to Discovery Communications and STEMconnector for promoting the representation of women and minorities in critical STEM fields,” said U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono.

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