By Office of Sen. Kelly Ayotte …..

U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) recently introduced legislation that would require the United States Department of the Treasury to mint a coin in recognition of the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger tragedy and in honor of Christa McAuliffe. Proceeds from sales of the coin would support FIRST programs that engage and inspire young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), without incurring any cost to taxpayers.

One potential design for the Challenger tragedy 30th anniversary / Christa McAuliffe commemorative coin by Jack Kamen, father of inventor and FIRST founder Dean Kamen.

“Christa McAuliffe’s quest for knowledge and discovery has served as an inspiration to Granite Staters and people across the nation,” said Senator Shaheen. “She was a beloved teacher who opened the eyes of young people around the world to the wonders of our planet and universe. In the 30 years since the Challenger tragedy, her memory has been honored from Concord to the halls of Congress and beyond. Engraving her image on a coin and using the proceeds to encourage young people’s interest in science, technology, engineering and math through FIRST Robotics is a fitting tribute.”

“New Hampshire’s own Christa McAuliffe inspired and encouraged young people to follow their dreams, and we introduced this legislation to honor and remember her legacy in recognition of the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger tragedy,” said Senator Ayotte. “By encouraging young people to take an interest in science and technology and allowing them exciting opportunities to become more involved in these important fields, FIRST will serve as a natural recipient of the funds that will be generated through the sale of the Christa McAuliffe commemorative coins. In New Hampshire, we’re proud to be the home of FIRST, which continues to inspire a growing number of young people to reach for the stars and achieve their dreams.”

“I’m thankful for Senators Ayotte and Shaheen for their continued dedication to the future of New Hampshire’s students and their involvement in furthering FIRST’s mission. As New Hampshire’s first teacher in space, Christa McAuliffe embodied the spirit of curiosity and desire for education that FIRST seeks to spread throughout our state and nation. It would be an honor to have these coins minted to help ensure that every student in America can participate in FIRST. A pioneer of her time, Christa McAuliffe’s memory lives on in our state and I’m proud to help continue her legacy,” said Dean Kamen, founder of FIRST.


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