Educators and Businesses Focus on Preparing Students for Jobs of the Future


Monday, October 3, 2011
By Allyson Hagen
406-444-3160

Educators and Businesses Focus on Preparing Students for Jobs of the Future in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

HELENA, MT - Montana’s Office of Public Instruction is hosting the first statewide forum on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education at the Red Lion Colonial Hotel in Helena on October 4 and 5.  Nearly 200 K-12 and post secondary educators, business representatives, state agencies and other interested partners will gather to learn about innovative partnerships currently underway in Montana schools and to build new partnerships across the state.  

Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau said, "We need to be preparing Montana students for the jobs of the future. The K-12 system must create a pipeline of students with the necessary skills to go on to higher education in these fields, and businesses need to be ready to hire these students when they complete their education."

In Montana, nearly all ten of the top ten jobs with the fastest employment growth are in STEM-related fields. The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that jobs requiring science, engineering, and technical training will increase 34% between 2008 and 2018.

The two-day conference will feature a keynote by Dr. Stephen Pruitt, Vice President for Content, Research and Development at Achieve and leader of the development of the Next Generation Science Standards. Achieve is an independent, bipartisan, non-profit education reform organization lead by governors and business leaders that helps states raise academic standards and graduation requirements, improve assessments and strengthen accountability.

Breakout sessions will include information on the following: classroom robotics, partnerships that connect students with scientists in the field, creating outdoor classrooms, the role of business and non-profit organizations in STEM education, and the Governor and First Lady's Math and Science Camp.

Superintendent Juneau will address the conference at 8:30 am on Tuesday, October 4 and will be followed by keynote speaker, Dr. Stephen Pruitt, at 8:45 am.

To download a complete agenda of the Montana Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Forum go to: http://opi.mt.gov/PDF/supt/STEM_Program_At-A-Glance.pdf

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