STEM Educators & Business Leaders Share a Common Goal: Get Students Excited in Science & Technology
Posted on November 10th, 2016

ST. CHARLES COUNTY, MO ---“As early as 2nd grade, students are self-selecting out of science and math because it’s too hard.”  This was a statement made by a St. Charles County educator at the STEM Innovation in Education Roundtable coordinated by the EDC Business and Community Partners (EDC).  This event held at Lindenwood University, brought all county school districts, business and community leaders together to address that very statement.
“We know there are so many great things happening in our county schools to help train and equip students for careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM),” said Randy Schilling, chair of the Education Committee of the EDC.  “We wanted to give these educators a chance to do a bit of ‘bragging and sharing’ about their STEM programs, and give them an opportunity to hear from the business community, who will be their students’ future employers.”
All the county school districts and a private high school presented their schools’ STEM-related programs to an audience of more than 35 education, business and civic leaders.  Solutions come in the form of a variety of programs, activities, camps and creative learning experiences.  Some of the programs shared by the educators included STEM Olympics with more than 300 participants in Wentzville, CSI Chrome Lab for students to learn how to work on their own Chrome pad, STEAM, STEM and APP Camps in Francis Howell School District, where many of the student-participants who are not particularly interested in athletics or even academics are finding a place to belong and succeed.  St. Charles School District shared the popularity of their STEM Career Day and STEM Family Nights.
As part of the discussion, Greg Prestemon, President & CEO of the EDC, posed a question to the educators: “What can the private sector do to support your STEM education efforts?”  Answers centered around the benefits of students engaging with businesses directly in the form of in-the-workplace visits, internships, mentorships or even having business leaders come to the classroom to share with students about the importance of STEM in their job. 
The EDC Partners also shared with the audience the award of $25,000 in grants for eleven new Middle School Robotics Teams. Retired educator and Education Committee member Dianne Garrison said, "this was an event everyone should have witnessed."
The EDC Business and Community Partners, (formally Partners for Progress of Greater St. Charles), is a civic group founded in 2001 to influence community progress and economic growth in the St. Charles County region.  It is part of the EDC business and community strategic collaborative. 

For more information about STEM, contact Martha Kampen at 636.229.5284

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