Preparing for the Future: Innovative STEM Training for Area Teachers

Most new jobs created in the next decade will require skills in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM). Yet many elementary schools aren’t fully equipped to train young people in STEM subjects and as a result, the U.S. is losing its competitive edge in math and science.

“We want to change that,” said Priscilla Nelson, associate professor/chair of education and lead strategist in Gordon’s new STEM partnership training program called STEM2. “It’s not just about training young people with these skills. STEM training prepares students for higher-level thinking, so they can tackle problems more creatively.”

To help area elementary teachers and instructional leaders in STEM education, Gordon established a year-long professional development program where teachers may earn points toward their re-licensure while gaining valuable STEM training for their classrooms. Thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Northeast Regional Readiness Center housed at Salem State University, five free workshops facilitated by STEM2 began at Gordon in October and will continue throughout the 2013-2014 school year. The program culminates in a STEM2 Summit June 4, 2014. Over 175 participants, including teachers, industry leaders and government representatives, have participated in the first two workshops.

“This is a unique partnership with policy makers, higher education, public schools and private industry,” Nelson said. “STEM2 is uniting stakeholders through support and training with emphasis on what works best in the classroom and leads to STEM industry jobs.” Continue reading