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Congresswoman Johnson pushes for progress in STEM-related fields

Special to The Dallas Examiner | 4/4/2019, 3:30 p.m.
Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, chair of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, reported ending last month with a ...
eddie bernice johnson

“It is not an exaggeration to say that climate change is one of the greatest challenges confronting our nation,” Johnson said. “On the science committee, we have already heard from scientists about the reality of human-induced climate change and its impacts. Those impacts are affecting our economy, our national security, and our quality of life. The increased frequency of extreme weather events in recent years is just one reminder of the growing cost of inaction on addressing climate change.”

The act would prohibit any federal funds from being used to take any action to advance the withdrawal of the U.S. from the landmark Paris Agreement. It also calls on the president to develop and make public a plan for how the United States will meet our commitment to reduce pollution.

Despite the president’s unilateral declaration withdrawing the United States from the Paris Agreement and his refusal to take the threat of the climate crisis seriously, the United States remains obligated to uphold our commitments to our global partners.

“The Paris Agreement was a significant step forward in bringing the international community together to address climate change, and I was proud that the United States played a critical role in forging the agreement under the Obama administration,” she explained. “The Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement is both misguided and ill-advised. Rather than pretend that human-induced climate change doesn’t exist, we need to do all we can to work to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.”

On March 29, Johnson hosted her annual Math and Science Lecture Series at the Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Magnet Center. Supported by the University of Texas at Dallas, this year’s event connected students with former NASA astronaut and physician, Dr. Bernard Harris, a veteran of two space missions. The lecture series is designed to expose students to STEM educations in hopes they may pursue careers in these crucial fields.

“Science and mathematics fuel the engine of the American economy and global innovation– most notably, inspiration. We need that inspiration, now more than ever as we seek to encourage a new generation to pursue careers in science technology, engineering, and math,” she stated. “Children are the future, and the nation is depending on them. It is that inspiration that breathes life in STEM education initiatives and helps the STEM curricula motivate a diverse cross section of our youth, including those who have traditionally been underrepresented in the STEM areas of study.”

Harris, a native Texan, is the founder of the Harris Foundation and head of the National Math and Science Initiative. During her speech, she sought to inspire the 150 high school students in attendance with firsthand accounts of his time in space and his career in medicine. She also spoke on the importance of STEM educations for students and the critical role events like the lecture series play.

“Programs like Congresswoman Johnson’s speaker series are important to spark and sustain students interest,” Harris said. “The only reason I was able to become an astronaut, a physician and now, CEO of NMSI, is because of education. I had people and programs who supported my dreams.”