At its first meeting in the 2014-15 school year, the WNY STEM Hub recognized Jamestown Public Schools as one of 29 school systems in five counties for their commitment to enhancing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and related programming. Designated as the Inaugural Class of Emerging STEM School Systems, the criterion was simple: engage students through study and programming. Descriptions of how these districts are highlighting STEM programming in their schools will be posted on the WNY STEM Hub website – www.wnystem.org later in September.
“We are proud that JPS was honored as an Emerging STEM School System,” said Dave Currie, JPS Coordinator of Science, Technology and Information Services. “Our district has always stressed a commitment to STEM education as we recognize that these academic areas: science, technology, engineering, math and the arts are important for the future of our students in college and the workforce. We will continue to emphasize STEM courses in our district to benefit our students.”
“JHS has had the fortunate pleasure of placing individuals on the Chautauqua County Education Coalition to help address the area’s emerging need for focus towards STEM education to support our local industries,” said Daryl Damcott, JHS Technology teacher and member of the Coalition. “Manufacturing has always been an intricate piece to the fabric of Jamestown and Chautauqua County as a whole. It is refreshing to be a part of a district that recognizes the need to support the community and take a proactive role in doing so in order to put our students in a position to be successful in the future while helping local businesses prosper.”
The Western New York STEM Hub is one of several hubs that comprise the Empire State STEM Learning Network, coordinated under the SUNY Vice Chancellor’s Education Pipeline initiatives. The NYS Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences serves as the Hub’s Steward Organization providing facilities, in-kind resources and general support.
“These school systems have embraced the importance of STEM education for students of all ages and grade levels,” says Michelle Kavanaugh, Ed.D., facilitator of the WNY STEM Hub. “By creating a culture of STEM learning – in addition to arts education – these schools are establishing an education pipeline to tomorrow’s careers for today’s students. The workforce of the future requires STEM trained and innovation-talented employees with technical skills and creative problem solving acumen to tackle complex challenges.”
Western New York STEM Hub representation includes: PreK-12, higher education, business/industry, informal learning environments and professional organization representatives. The network is aligned with efforts to reduce the current STEM skills gap and the impending growth of STEM jobs in the region. Among the resources it offers are online links to learning tools, STEM job listings, a Calendar of STEM Events, a Speakers Bureau, monthly informational and networking meetings, learning tours and more. Find information about the Hub’s resources and a list of relevant events at www.wnystem.org.