Friday 2010 Maine Stem Summit: Educating and Building the Community

Contacts:  Jan Mokros, Maine Mathematics & Science Alliance, 287-6491
Vicki Nemeth, Maine EPSCoR at the University of Maine, 581-3399
Anita Bernhardt, Maine Dept. of Education, 624-6835

AUGUSTA — More than 325 participants from all across Maine will take part in the Maine STEM Collaborative’s 2010 Summit on Friday January 29 at the Augusta Civic Center.  This event will bring together educators, policymakers, business people and workforce experts, working to raise awareness of statewide efforts to improve STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education for all Maine residents to foster an innovative and competitive workforce.

The Maine STEM Collaborative, begun in 2007, is a statewide partnership of education, research, business, government and non-profit sectors working together to foster improved STEM education in the state.  The collaborative’s vision is to increase Maine’s P-20 student STEM participation by ten percent by 2014 through a strong, coherent, consistent and integrated education system.

Gov. John Baldacci will kick off the summit by speaking at 9:30 a.m. on the importance of STEM education for Maine’s future.  Morning sessions will showcase emerging innovation technologies that are important for Maine, with a particular focus on technologies for sustainability such as green/clean tech and renewable energy.

Some of the most rapidly growing sectors of Maine’s innovation economy involve STEM careers, but in order to attract students into these areas, educators at all levels must understand the changing requirements, pathways and rewards of these careers.  Afternoon sessions will explore emerging STEM occupations in Maine’s economy, the need for workers who have skills that cross disciplinary boundaries and innovations developed by Maine’s K-20 educators to engage students in these disciplines and keep them in the “pipeline.”
A “Speed Networking” session on STEM career pathways will also connect educators with industry and government representatives so that each can learn firsthand about the other’s challenges, opportunities, and success stories.