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House, Senate Approve Resolutions Concerning Education and Engineering

National Engineers Week

On January 31, the House approved, by voice vote, a resolution (H. Res. 59) supporting the goals and ideals of National Engineers Week. It aims to increase understanding of, and interest in, engineering and technology careers, promote literacy in math and science, and ensure that the creativity and contributions of the engineering community can be expressed through research, development, standardization, and innovation. Sponsored by Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), the resolution contains a number of findings, including:

  • the 2006 National Academy of Sciences report, “Rising Above the Gathering Storm,” highlighted the worrisome trend that fewer students are now focusing on engineering in college at a time when increasing numbers of today’s 2 million engineers are nearing retirement;
  • National Engineers Week activities at engineering schools and in other forums are encouraging our young math and science students to see themselves as possible future engineers and to realize the practical power of their knowledge; and
  • National Engineers Week has grown into a formal coalition of more than 70 engineering, education, and cultural societies, and more than 50 major corporations and government agencies.Rep. Lipinski said, “From national and regional engineering competitions such as the Future City Competition, to events such as Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, this week helps inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists.” He added, “If we are going to produce more American engineers, one needed step is to improve STEM education, that is science, technology, engineering and math education. But we must also do more to inspire our children to become interested in engineering.”

    Mentoring Month Resolution

    On January 31, the Senate approved, by unanimous consent, a resolution (S. Res. 61) sponsored by Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) to designate January 2007 as “National Mentoring Month.” The resolution recognizes the contributions of millions of caring adults who are already serving as mentors and encourages more adults to serve as mentors. The House approved a similar resolution (H. Res. 29) on January 22 (see The Source, 01/26/07).

    National School Counseling Week

    On Feb 1, the Senate approved, by unanimous consent, a resolution (S. Res. 23) supporting the designation of February 5 through 7 as “National School Counseling Week.” The resolution highlights the role school counselors play in preparing students for fulfilling lives as contributing members of society. Sponsored by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), the resolution contains a number of findings, including:

  • school counselors have been instrumental in helping students, teachers, and parents deal with the trauma that was inflicted upon them by hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma;
  • students face myriad challenges every day, including peer pressure, depression, and school violence;
  • school counselors are among the few professionals in a school building that are trained in both education and mental health;
  • the national average ratio of students to school counselors of 478-to-1 is more than double the 250-to-1 ratio recommended by the American School Counselor Association, the American Counseling Association, the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and other organizations; and
  • the celebration of National School Counseling Week would increase awareness of the important and necessary role school counselors play in the lives of students in the United States.
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