The Building Blocks of STEM Act was signed into law at the end of 2019. This law modifies National Science Foundation (NSF) grant programs that support STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, including computer science) education.
The bill specifies that NSF grants to increase the participation of underrepresented populations in STEM fields may be used for research into various subjects regarding female students in prekindergarten through elementary school, including
- the role of teachers and caregivers in encouraging or discouraging participation by such students in STEM activities, and
- the types of STEM activities that encourage greater participation by such students.
The bill specifies that NSF grants to research computer science education and computational thinking may be used to support development and implementation of various tools and models for teaching and learning, including
- developing and offering gender-inclusive computer science enrichment programs, and
- acquainting female students in prekindergarten through elementary school with careers in computer science.