Wilmington, DE - Governor Markell signed an executive order on Monday, creating a statewide council to improve student preparedness in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The council will institutionalize collaboration between stakeholders and help the Department of Education (DOE) reach its goal of increasing student enrollment in STEM careers by 50% from 2010 to 2013.
"STEM subjects span an incredible number of careers, including traditional fields, such as agriculture, medicine, engineering and economics, and many that we haven't yet imagined," said Markell. "These subjects are integrated into our lives and our economy-we owe each of our students a strong foundation in STEM to empower them to innovate and compete. Improving our statewide STEM performance is critical to job creation."
The announcement was held in conjunction with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration's "Science Zone," where students participated in a host of science experiments - including how to make "slime" and lip balm. DuPont, the Delaware Foundation for Science and Mathematics Education, the City of Wilmington and other local companies partnered to host the event.
"A STEM Education Council is an important step to ensure that Delaware remains as one of the most innovative states in the country," said U.S. Senator Ted Kaufman (D-Del.). "As a former engineer, I am dedicated to promoting STEM education during my time in the Senate. I know this council will spur the kind of investment and attention in STEM education that I believe all of our students deserve. Delaware and the nation are counting on these future scientists and engineers."
The Council will include the heads of the departments of Education, Labor, and Technology and Information; educators; curriculum specialists; a district superintendent; and representatives from the Delaware Foundation for Science and Mathematics Education, the Delaware Business Industry Education Alliance, a local charter school, and institutions of higher education.
The Council will serve to:
- Advise DOE on STEM-related issues, goals and planning
- Review and evaluate STEM education programs from Delaware and elsewhere, and work with districts and schools to incorporate proven programs
- Review and evaluate federal sources of funding and support STEM grant applications
- Advise DOE on strategies to improve student test scores and on alignment of STEM programs with common standards
- Collaborate with institutions of higher education on college-readiness standards and work with DOE, districts and schools to increase the number of students who are college-ready in STEM fields
- Meet with educators and school leaders on how to improve professional development in STEM-related areas
- Promote collaboration and partnerships between schools and local employers
- Study the demographic distribution of students pursuing STEM education programs and career pathways and develop strategies to address disparities
- Pursue strategies for increasing recognition among students, teachers, parents and educators of the importance of stem education.
Delaware Department of Education
401 Federal Street, Suite #2
Dover, Delaware 19901
Phone: (302) 735-4035
Fax: (302) 739-4654
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