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May 19 STEM Conference set to bring educators and business together

4/28/2009 —
Educators and local business leaders are encouraged to participate in the first Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Conference at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus on May 19. The conference theme, “Industry and Education: Defining Our Common Ground,” is designed to explore partnerships between industry and education that can help make STEM more interesting and exciting for area middle and high school students, which in turn may grow the regional workforce skilled in these areas.

Penn State Fayette Chancellor Dr. Emmanuel I. Osagie explains, “Fayette County and the southwestern Pennsylvania area has tremendous potential for growth in the high-tech and science-related industries, but not enough students are interested in pursuing the science and technology subjects that can lead them to exciting, high-paying careers. Educators say they need assistance in making these subjects more exciting and engaging for the students. Well, that’s where area businesses can become involved—by creating partnerships in education. Our aim is to bring educators and industry together to begin to correct this disconnect.”

The STEM conference’s keynote speaker is Robert Daley, who will address STEM from an employer’s perspective. Daley’s background is in working with entrepreneurial and early-stage companies, helping them evaluate markets, develop business strategies and raising and structuring capital. He is the CEO of 4moms, a company that offers products to make routine tasks more enjoyable for parents and children. He earned his undergraduate degree in finance from the University of Virginia and an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

David Meredith, Penn State Fayette associate professor of engineering, will give his presentation “High Tech in Fayette County” that will highlight more than 20 products the world looks to our region to obtain. “The number and scope of high-tech firms in Fayette County is often underestimated,” Meredith says, “but things made in Fayette County are used around the world.”

The conference also will address best practices in STEM education. Last fall, science, technology and math teachers across Fayette County were surveyed to develop a compilation of best teaching practices. The results of the survey will be shared at the May 19 conference, and the Center for the Advancement of STEM Education (CASE) will offer a variety of STEM classroom opportunities.

The May 19 STEM Conference at Penn State Fayette begins at 8 a.m. and concludes at 3:15 p.m. It will be held in the campus’ Community Center. Educators and business leaders interested in participating can register online at http://solutionwhere.com/iu1. Breakfast and lunch are provided. The registration fee is $10; registration and five Act 48 hours for educators is $25. For more information, call Keith Golebie at Intermediate Unit 1 at 724-938-3241 ext. 250. A flier about the conference is available online at www.fayette.psu.edu, then click on Continuing Education.
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