The Newton LigerBots sent a delegation to the FIRST National Advocacy Conference, June 24-26 in Washington, DC, representing Massachusetts along with the Green Reapers team from Worcester. The 250 conference attendees learned about how bills get passed, how to advocate effectively, what other teams are doing at the state level, and the two STEM-related aims of FIRST’s current advocacy:
- Reauthorization of the Perkins Act, which supports technical education and STEM opportunities in second careers for those who may otherwise not be able to afford it, and
- Full funding for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which provides flexible block grants that school districts can use to for high-quality STEM programs both in the classroom and after school.
On the last day of the conference, the LigerBot delegates met with Representative Joseph Kennedy as well as with staff of Senators Warren and Markey, and Representative Capuano to talk about FIRST, STEM, the Perkins Act, and ESSA.