E-Newsletter: Engaging students with STEAM education

Legislators team up, compete with students and robots


As chair of the House Committee on Innovation, Technology and Economic Development, I am dedicated to increasing access to STEAM education.

House Bill 1577 requires public school districts to annually provide data on what computer science courses are offered. This will aid in the development of new educational programs to better engage students in the computer engineering field, including girls and students of color, who remain underrepresented across STEAM fields.

This session, teen computer science students taught lawmakers to code robots for competition in the FIRST Washington Robotics Legislator Invitational, hosted by Rep. Vandana Slatter, D-Bellevue, and FIRST Washington Robotics. Watch highlights of the event on the House Democrats’ YouTube channel. 

Broadening broadband access across Washington state


The more our communities and economies rely on internet use, the more we need to consider strengthening access to internet broadband on a statewide scale.

This session, I sponsored House Bill 1498 (Senate Bill 5511), which takes needed steps in ensuring everyone in Washington has access to high-quality, high-speed internet broadband.

No matter what corner of Washington is called home, students should be able to finish school work, economic developers should be able to expand in and beyond urban centers, and patients should be able to access the medical care they need.

Both bills remain under consideration by the Legislature.

Supporting college students experiencing homelessness


With college tuition and rents rapidly rising, low-income students too often end up unsheltered while still enrolled in college courses.

This issue was brought to my attention by Councilmember Dave Larson of the Tukwila School Board. He noticed his students were facing a unique challenge once they graduated high school – many were losing access to the social supports that helped them excel in K-12, including access to affordable housing. As a result, students were accruing massive student loan debts to cover housing costs.

The Legislature is working to fix this. House Bill 1278, which I sponsored, would provide on-campus housing for College Bound Scholarship students, within available space. Senate Bill 5800 would create a pilot program within institutions of higher education to assist students who were in foster care or who are currently without shelter, find access to housing.

When students have a safe, affordable place to call home, it makes a huge impact in keeping these bright kids enrolled in college.

Both bills remain under consideration by the Legislature.

Count Washington in for Census 2020


With just one year until Census 2020, Washington is preparing to make sure everyone is counted. For the first time you can submit your information online, by phone or by mail.

Data collected during the census will shape the next decade’s worth of government funding for vital community projects and necessities. The outcome of the census will also determine redistricting guidelines, including how many members states have in the House of Representatives.

Learn more at www.census.gov

Rep. Zack Hudgins