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Delaware Headlines

Gov. Markell touts STEM education efforts in weekly message

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Tom Byrne/Delaware Public Media
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Gov. Jack Markell’s weekly message highlights the progress he believes the First State is making in offering students STEM education opportunities.

In response to the growing number of jobs related to science, technology, engineering and math – Markell says his administration has worked to foster collaboration between school districts, local colleges and universities, and business leaders to develop curriculum that produces students who can fill those jobs .

He says his Pathways to Prosperity program is on track to graduate thousands of students with workplace experience and college credit in areas like computer science, biomedical science, and engineering.  But that’s not the only place he sees those efforts are starting to bear fruit.

 

"We’re increasing the number of high school students enrolled in computer programming from just several dozen two years ago to 1,000 by next year. Our middle schools have partnered with Junior Achievement to welcome STEM professionals into the classroom.  Last year, well over 100 volunteers touched more than 2,000 students," said Markell.

Markell also praised STEM teachers for their innovative lesson plans and commitment to their students, saying they are vital to making Delaware “a hub for growing industries that require expertise in these fields.”

 

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Full text of Gov. Markell's weekly message:

 

Giving our students the best chance to thrive means exposing them to great educational opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math--STEM. 

 

STEM jobs are increasing much faster than average, from computer system analysts and software developers to medical scientists and biomedical engineers. And preparing our students means collaboration among our school districts, our colleges and universities, and business leaders to align curriculum with the needs of the workplace.

 

We are making great progress through initiatives like Pathways to Prosperity, through which thousands of students will graduate with workplace experience and college credit in areas like computer science, biomedical science, and engineering. We’re increasing the number of high school students enrolled in computer programming from just several dozen two years ago to 1,000 by next year. Our middle schools have partnered with Junior Achievement to welcome STEM professionals into the classroom.  Last year, well over 100 volunteers touched more than 2,000 students.

 

These initiatives only mean anything for our youth because of the outstanding, committed educators who are putting in hundreds of hours working together, preparing effective lesson plans, and giving each student the attention he or she deserves. They’re people like Travis Bower who was recognized for his innovative STEM instruction as a teacher at Selbyville Middle School and who more recently started a robotics program as an administrator at Georgetown Elementary. And there's Jeffrey Killner and Robert Gibson at Sussex Central High School, they’re introducing their students to coursework in conceptual physics, cybersecurity, and computer coding. Travis, Jeffery, and Robert were among the teachers to receive awards from STEM Council this year.

 

With quality STEM education, our young people are developing the skills to thrive in our high tech world, and they can make Delaware a hub for growing industries that require expertise in these fields. And that will keep Delaware moving forward.

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