The Secretary is authorized to establish programs to enhance the quality of mathematics, science, and engineering education. Any such programs shall be operated at or through the support of Department research and development facilities, shall use the scientific resources of the Department, and shall be consistent with the overall Federal plan for education and human resources in science and technology developed by the Federal Coordinating Council for Science, Engineering, and Technology.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary, acting through the Under Secretary for Science (referred to in this subsection as the “Under Secretary”), shall appoint a Director of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Education (referred to in this subsection as the “Director”) with the principal responsibility for administering science, engineering, and mathematics education programs across all functions of the Department.
The Secretary shall offer to enter into a contract with the National Academy of Sciences under which the National Academy, not later than 5 years after, and not later than 10 years after, August 9, 2007, shall assess the performance of the science, engineering, and mathematics education programs of the Department.
An assessment under this paragraph shall be conducted taking into consideration, where applicable, the effect of science, engineering, and mathematics education programs of the Department on student academic achievement in science and mathematics.
The programs described in subsection (a) shall supplement and be coordinated with current activities of the Department, but shall not supplant them.
The Secretary shall establish a Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Education Fund, using not less than 0.3 percent of the amount made available to the Department for research, development, demonstration, and commercial application for each fiscal year, to carry out sections 7381b, 7381c, and 7381c–1 of this title.
In carrying out a program under subsection (a), the Secretary shall give priority to activities that are designed to encourage students from under-represented groups to pursue scientific and technical careers.