Finger Lakes STEM Hub Launch

Sara Silverstone

Each month since December of 2010 I have had the privilege to facilitate a remarkable collaborative group of leaders in education, government, higher ed and community organizations as we developed a regional Hub of the Empire State STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Learning Network. We developed a mission, vision, goals, working committees and action items for the year. In the past week we began inviting influential community leaders to join our Board of Champions. We have big plans and a wonderful, energetic and diverse group to carry them out. This is networking at its best!

Nearly every day I read about economic problems whose solution is to develop a technically trained workforce who can fill the jobs of the 21st Century. Students graduate without the skills employers are desperately seeking, and as a result, half of all of recent college graduates are either jobless or underemployed while great jobs are remain unfilled. Clearly there is a gap between what we are teaching our young people and what they need to learn in order to find good jobs.

What can leaders from business and education do about this disconnect, which adversely affects everybody?  By coming together in agreement about the elements of a high-quality 21st Century education and ensuring that that is what our students receive, the double-edged problem of unemployment and lack of a skilled workforce can be addressed. For too long, industry and education operated in separate silos, unaware and unconcerned about their common needs.

With the launch of the Finger Lakes STEM Hub, our region joins a statewide and national STEM learning network which enables all constituencies to acknowledge our common goals and work across sectors to address our nations most pressing technical and economic problems.

Over the next few weeks, participants in the Finger Lakes STEM Hub will share their perspective on how STEM education can address our most pressing problems and how the Finger Lakes STEM Hub can contribute to these solutions.

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One Response to Finger Lakes STEM Hub Launch

  1. Connie K. Duff says:

    My involvement in organizations that seek to support science educators began when I started teaching middle school science in the 70’s and continued through years as a high school teacher, staff development specialist and central office administrator. I have participated in the Science Educators’ Conferences, STANYS Conferences, the BioChem Mentor Network, SAL Network, and most recently the New York State Science Education Leadership Association (NYSSELA). The Finger Lakes Hub provides the oppportunity for education, business and the community to identify common goals and implement action steps on behalf of students and teachers throughout the region and throughout the state. I am eagerly awaiting the announcement of the Finger Lakes Hub to the general public and eager to move our goals concerning professional development, student impact and community awareness forward.

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