Wednesday, July 2, 2014

STEMing ahead of the learning curve

As a former zoology major and biology professor, I naturally have a strong enthusiasm for science and science education on all levels. As a university administrator and president, I have witnessed the steadily growing influence technology, engineering and mathematics have had on higher education.

When there’s opportunity to blend them together into one initiative, it’s an opportunity we can’t pass up. Research, statistics and resulting media coverage highlight the benefits of early exposure to science, technology, engineering and mathematics for students.

The STEM movement has even grabbed the attention of the federal government, which allocated $3.1 billion into promoting STEM education in its 2014 budget.

And I’m proud to say Bloomsburg University is staying ahead of the curve.

From courses in human biology to object-oriented Java programming to calculus, our Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Magnet high school program recently capped its first year.

Nearly 20 students from Berwick, Bloomsburg and Central Columbia high schools got a taste of higher education while earning college credits by completing STEM courses on campus this past fall and spring semesters.

The program will grow in the coming academic year, adding students from Benton, Danville, Millville and Southern Columbia school districts, along with Columbia-Montour Area Vocational Technical School, and introducing a new health care track to go along with the original engineering focus.

Why STEM at BU?

Recognizing the growing need for college graduates in science, health science, technology, engineering and mathematics, our university established a regional math and science education center last summer to support a wide range of programming focused on:
  • STEM pipeline development (K-12)
  • professional development of teachers in collaboration with regional districts
  • cutting-edge research in STEM education
  • innovative college programs based on proven strategies that produce graduates prepared for success in the STEM fields
The STEM Magnet program not only strengthens our connection to neighboring communities and partnerships with regional school districts, it serves as another example of Bloomsburg’s commitment to creating a competitive and influential learning environment. And success with STEM will surely serve as a catalyst for other targeted educational areas, like applied humanities and teacher education. This is just the first step.

#FutureHusky #CollaborativeLearning

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