U.S. Senators John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) Tuesday met with students at West Fargo's Sheyenne High School and Moorhead's Horizon Middle School to discuss their bipartisan Innovate America Act and to highlight the schools' efforts to prepare students for advanced Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum.

The Innovate America Act would add 100 new STEM schools, support scientific research and help remove burdensome regulations for small- and medium-sized businesses. In doing so, the legislation would help cut red tape, strengthen education and increase exports to help America maintain its competitive edge in the global marketplace.

"Sheyenne High School and Horizon Middle School have done a wonderful job of using project-based learning to prepare STEM students for the jobs of tomorrow," said Hoeven. "Our legislation will help schools across the country do the same thing. STEM education, training and research will help our students compete in a global economy. Our legislation will help ensure that America remains competitive."

"To stay competitive in the global economy, we need a 21st century education system that prepares our students for the jobs of tomorrow," Klobuchar said. "It was great to see students in Minnesota and North Dakota engaged and enthusiastic about science, technology, engineering, and math. I am committed to working across the aisle with Senator Hoeven to build on this momentum and pass our legislation that will expand opportunities for all students to succeed."

The Innovate America Act would also help increase the competitiveness of small- and medium-sized businesses by promoting and rewarding schools, technical colleges and universities that focus on science, technology, engineering and math, as well as removing red tape and reducing production costs for manufacturing businesses. The legislation is endorsed by the Council on Undergraduate Research; the STEM Education Coalition; the National Science Teachers Association; and Code.org, a nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding participation in computer science.

Specifically the legislation would:

-- Add 100 new STEM-focused high schools

-- Measure graduation rates for STEM students to encourage colleges and universities to adopt best practices to improve graduation rates

-- Expand undergraduate research opportunities to encourage more students to enter STEM fields

-- Boost the number of computer science teachers in elementary and secondary schools

-- Create a pilot program at the National Science Foundation to support promising technology derived from NSF grants and help it be brought to market faster

-- Require the Secretary of Commerce to work with small- and medium-sized manufacturers to help them comply with regulations and identify those requirements that create an unnecessary burden

-- Require the Department of Commerce to issue a report on global competitiveness of top exporting industries