District to receive nearly $1-million Straight A Fund grant for STEM program

The project is titled “K to industry” and it merges student, parent and staff interests with workforce needs to form a strategic plan that results in college and career ready students.There are four components to the grant; online platform for virtual mentoring and career exploration, education and industry professional development, teacher externships, and an information technology pathway.
 
“We are excited to receive this grant and it will be a major boost to our STEM program,” said Superintendent Dr. Todd Hoadley. “Our Manager of STEM Initiatives Kimberly Clavin deserves a lot of credit for this initiative and for putting the work into obtaining the grant.”
 
K to Industry is an innovative comprehensive approach to workforce development that encompasses exploration of career fields, engagement with experts and industry immersion. The overarching goal of K to Industry is to populate the workforce with employees rich in contextual, technical and career skills. This goal will be achieved through the following objectives: 1) Design collaborative workforce-focused problem based learning opportunities for student, teacher and working professionals in a safe user environment; 2) Establish opportunities for students to be immersed in work-based learning, youth internship and industry mentorship; 3) Create and implement teacher and student resources including online professional development, industry mentors, design challenges and a disciplinary literacy content library (i.e. an online Community Connect Portal for virtual text and video mentoring with teachers, students and student groups); 4) Build in efficiencies to the program and organizational structure that promote maximum output with minimum staff time; and 5) Develop an Information Technology Pathway to serve as a model industry pathway to guide students along the continuum from Kindergarten to Industry.
 
Clavin said one of the main goals of the program is to infuse industry-centered exploration, engagement and immersion in a variety of career fields (not just STEM based) in order to help steer and prepare students for their futures.
 
“According to the New York Times, 80 percent of college freshmen are uncertain about a major and half will change majors before graduation,” Clavin said. “This results in more time and tuition dollars spent for students and decreased completion rate for colleges.”
 
The STEM program goes hand in hand with the District’s academies at the high school level. The academies are also designed to provide students with career exploration. These academies are: The Engineering Academy, The Biomedical Research Academy, Energy, the Dublin Business Academy, the Young Professionals Academy, and the Dublin Teacher Academy.
 
An open house for parents about what this new program means to the District will be scheduled for October.

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