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Rep. Bucshon: Economy Reaping Benefits from Improving STEM Workforce

March 7, 2014

Bucshon At Crossroads Regional 2014 Pits

Visiting Crossroads Regional: U.S. Rep. Larry Bucshon discusses lessons learned by high school students through the FIRST Robotics program. He visited the Crossroads Regional competition on Friday, March 7, at Rose-Hulman. (Photo by Steve Voltmer)

It has been projected that 75 percent of this year’s fasting growing occupations require significant science and mathematics requirements. That’s why Eighth District U.S. Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-Indiana) applauds Rose-Hulman’s educational outreach efforts through the FIRST Robotics programs.

“The STEM students of today will lead us to the cutting-edge technologies of tomorrow. A well-educated and trained science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce will promote our future economic prosperity,” states Rep. Bucshon. He was the keynote speaker at Rose-Hulman on Friday, March 7, at a luncheon for sponsors of FIRST Robotics’ Crossroads Regional and Wabash Valley community leaders.

The congressman adds, “Innovation can’t take place without advances in technology.”

The Crossroads Regional has brought robots created by 45 high school teams from nine states to Rose-Hulman for three days of fun-filled competition that’s helping to stimulate youths toward STEM careers.

Rep. Bucshon got a first-hand look as the robots worked together to pick up, pass, and throw large balls into targets on the large playing field that covered the floor of Rose-Hulman’s Hulbert Arena in the Sports and Recreation Center. He also met with students, teachers, and engineering mentors in the teams’ workshop areas.

Phillip Cornwell, Rose-Hulman’s vice president for academic affairs, invited Rep. Bucshon to attend the only FIRST Robotics competition in his district. In early January, Cornwell joined FIRST Robotics Founder Dean Kamen in testifying before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Research and Technology, which Rep. Bucshon chairs, about the success of private-sector STEM education programs.

“We need to do more to keep America at the forefront of STEM innovation, advancement, and development,” states Rep. Bucshon, a licensed medical doctor who spent his life specializing in cardiothoracic surgery. “We need to engage students at a young age to keep them interested in pursuing STEM degrees and careers. At the federal level, we can leverage the work of private-sector programs. Events like FIRST Robotics are critical.”

Rep. Bucshon adds, “The STEM students of today will lead us to the cutting-edge technologies of tomorrow.”

The first Congressional STEM Academic Competition gives Eighth District students an opportunity to create and exhibit a software application, or “app,” for mobile, tablet, or computer devices on a platform of their choice. The submissions will be judged by a panel from Rose-Hulman, and the winner will be featured on the House of Representatives’ website and displayed in an exhibit in the U.S. Capitol. The entry deadline is April 30.