STEM Is a Strategic Priority

May 10, 2012

Joseph Marinelli
District Superintendent
Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES

Note:  This is third in a  series of posts by members of the Finger Lakes STEM Hub Steering Committee and Board of Champions.

There is an economic imperative in this country.  It is that our economic vitality depends on growing the knowledge and skills among our youth so that our country can compete internationally.  Global competition is fierce.  If we want to maintain our standard of living and quality of life we must focus on making more students college and career ready, and more students must become interested in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) disciplines starting in the early grades.  They must seek to pursue careers in those areas while in high school.  The importance of creating career pathways for students starting in the early grades can not be underestimated.  The Board of Regents and SUNY have made STEM a top priority.  Our Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES interest in supporting economic development through STEM started in 2006 when it was set as a strategic priority.  In our region, we created awareness activities with educators, government officials and business representatives, provided regional leadership in STEM, improved science curriculum materials, expanded teacher workshops, and created strands of STEM activities for students which continue today.  We provide related enrichment activities for elementary and middle school students, and have expanded our rigorous career and technical education offerings articulating with post-secondary education to include renewable energy, engineering technology, training in geothermal, solar and wind energy, and home energy analysis, with additional support of start-up funds from NYSERDA.  But this is just the beginning of our long-term strategy to add and expand more opportunities for students.  Because of our partnership with the Finger Lakes Workforce Investment Board and its Regional Skills Alliances, in Health, Advanced Manufacturing and Skilled Trades, and our regional colleges, we remain very committed.  I am pleased to be an advocate on the Finger Lakes STEM Hub Board of Champions.

Joseph Marinelli is  a member of the Finger Lakes STEM Hub Board of Champions.

What Is STEM? A Video…

May 10, 2012

John Frontuto

A few months ago I didn’t even know what STEM stood for. There I was sitting in a meeting trying to get my hands around what this organization does and create a video for them. Imagine my surprise when Daren, our videographer, and I go out and interview elementary kids who know exactly what it is. I thought it might be fun to see them guessing what exactly STEM stands for. No such luck. I had to find some adult college students before I could stump anyone. I met a retired Kodak worker sitting at a table surrounded by rocks. He enjoyed hiking and wanted to be able to identify what he found in the wild. I met a young woman from Ethiopia who wanted become a doctor. She and her brother as small children dreamt of finding a cure for AIDS. I met a 11 year old, with the coolest mohawk hairdo, who with his fellow classmates, was working on a project involving the good that skate parks in inner-city neighborhoods could do. I also met an 8 year old who knew he was going to grow up to become an engineer because he loved his Legos.
We tried to capture some of their and our excitement in the video for Stem Hub launch. Hope you enjoy it. I’m just glad I got to meet a  bunch of amazing people to explain to me what STEM stands for.
What Is STEM?…A Video

John Frontuto and Daren Hammond are part of the Video Production Unit for the Public Safety Training Center at Monroe Community College and a member of the Community Awareness and Involvement Working Group of the Finger Lakes STEM Hub.