Career and Technical Education bill to recognize architecture as STEM

Phil Roeder on Flickr - Creative Commons License

The US capitol building

In a big win for architects, the US House of Representatives passed the Senate version of H.R.2353, the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education (CTE) Act on Tuesday.

Architects across the country led the charge to pass this bill, highlighting its promise in discussions with their representatives. When the need arose, AIA component executives also dedicated significant time to such conversations, most notably in Kansas, South Carolina, Indiana, and Utah.

The bill, sponsored by  Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.), Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Il), Sen. Michael Enzi (R-WY) and Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), allows states to use federal money to modernize CTE curricula, which includes architecture. In so doing, and for the first time, the legislation officially considers architecture a part of STEM education.

"After years of discussion by architects and educators, AIA is pleased that its lobbying efforts have succeeded and that the bill on Career Technical Education has passed,” says Robert Ivy, FAIA, EVP/Chief Executive Officer of the American Institute of Architects.  "It will encourage a more diverse workforce, fulfill the promise of design as the synthesis of art and science, and affect fundamental change in educational curricula."

Architecture has always represented the intersection of several disciplines, and its recognition as a STEM precept acknowledges the profession’s long history of ingenuity and problem solving. AIA components may now work with their state departments of education to lobby for allocating federal grants for curriculum updates.

While architects and AIA components have been working to bring design to K-12 students through special programs and activities for years, this bill helps codify those efforts. Importantly, it exposes a new generation of students, and better prepares them for, a career in architecture.

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Image credits

Phil Roeder on Flickr - Creative Commons License

Phil Roeder

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