Jenniffer González-Colón organizes STEM Task Force to promote science in Puerto Rico
Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón (NPP, R) of Puerto Rico discussed her work as a member of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology of the United States House of Representatives, talking about bills that she is working on, integrating the proposals presented at a roundtable in Puerto Rico. The round table was held at the EcoExploratorio: Museum of Sciences of Puerto Rico facilities with meteorologist Ada Monzón, president of the Board of Directors of the Museum, as host.
“Puerto Rico must begin to diversify its economy and in the field of science and technology we have a unique potential, especially in our human resources. As a member of the Science Committee in Congress, I am committed to promoting this field in the island as well as highlighting the work done here and promoting investment at a national and global level. For this reason, I called on this diverse group of representatives from different areas of science to form my STEM Task Force so we can tackle their needs and ideas to be heard and supported by federal agencies and Congress,” said the Resident Commissioner.
“The Science Museum of Puerto Rico is proud to host this first meeting of the STEM Task Force of Puerto Rico. We wish to strengthen the bonds of our institutions and establish innovation strategies in science and technology based on education. There is great interest in achieving impact activities for Puerto Rico and that we have a projection in the world for our work and research. Congresswoman Gonzalez-Colon supports these ideas and strategy so that we can achieve the public policy and necessary funds,” said meteorologist Ada Monzón.
The round table discussion was on the use of federal funds, the national and global projection of work in science in Puerto Rico, STEM education (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) that includes curriculum revision, look for ways to attract national investment to local science projects.
Among the efforts of the Resident Commissioner in favor of science on the islands was the Arecibo Observatory whose executive director mentioned how three years ago the Observatory was going to close and thanks to the efforts of the Resident Commissioner and other entities, operational funds could be maintained. He also thanked defending allocations that do not lower funds for science organizations such as the Arecibo Observatory. The Resident Commissioner also managed to allocate recovery funds for the Observatory after the impact of hurricane Maria.
In attendance at the meeting were Mr. Manuel J. Fernós, President of the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico; Lucy Crespo, Chief Executive Officer of the Trust for Science, Technology and Research of Puerto Rico; Dr. Brad Weiner of the Comprehensive Cancer Center; Dr. Víctor Huérfano Moreno, Director of the Seismic Network of Puerto Rico; Francisco Córdova Observatory Director of Arecibo; Juan González Alicea, President of the Caribbean Astronomy Society; Dr. Ana R. Guadalupe, Director of the Molecular Sciences Research Center; Directors of the Medical Sciences Campus, UPRRP Natural Sciences School, Department of Science and Mathematics, Faculty of Engineering of the UPR of Mayagüez, UPR Río Piedras Campus, and Ana G. Méndez University.