Idaho Sen. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, and House Education Chairman Reed DeMordaunt, R-Eagle, are forming a new “STEM Caucus” of state lawmakers who want to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics education in the state. “It’s a nonpartisan thing,” Nonini said. “Both Reed and I are big STEM supporters. We just think it goes hand in hand with economic development in the state. We’re trying to promote STEM.”
Nonini said letters went out to all senators and representatives last Thursday and Friday. “We’re getting good response from legislators,” he said. He noted that 85 of Idaho’s 105 lawmakers don’t serve on either the House or Senate education committees, and said the caucus is an effort to more widely spread the work among legislators about how STEM education can help bring good jobs to the state; it's not aimed at specific legislation. “We’re going to bring speakers in,” he said, possibly including the STEM Mobile Discovery Lab, a 60-foot bus sponsored by the Micron Foundation and Discover Technology that’s fitted with hands-on science exhibits for students in elementary and middle schools, and has already visited Treasure Valley schools and reached thousands of students. “We’re just trying to build support,” Nonini said.