Nationally recognized experts will convene at Rockland Community College (RCC) for The STAKEHOLDERS SUMMIT: Regional Solutions to the National Crisis in K-16 STEM Education on Friday, Oct. 12. Encouraging more students to study the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) has been named a national priority. RCC received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to promote a regional solution to strengthen STEM education.
The keynote speaker is theoretical physicist Dr. James Gates, who served on President Obama’s Council of Advisors for Science and Technology and was featured in PBS' NOVA series "The Elegant Universe." Gates will share findings from the Council’s report, Engage to Excel, and offer recommendations.
President Obama and Governor Cuomo have noted the central position of community colleges in their regions’ educational and economic development, and
National experts leading workshops include:
- Dr. Joan Ferrini-Mundy of the NSF
- Dr. Nichole Pinkard, founder of the Digital Youth Network,
- Leigh Estabrooks, head of the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam initiative that provides grants to high school students developing technologies to solve real-world problems,
- Johanna Duncan-Poitier, SUNY’s Sr. Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges and the Education Pipeline,
- Dr. Roy Vagelos, current Chairman of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals,
- Sheila Appel, Manager of Corporate Relations at IBM,
- Dr. Julia Clark, of NSF
The day of learning, partnering, and problem-solving will bring together 150 educators from Rockland and Westchester Community Colleges, Rockland and Westchester school districts, BOCES, and area four-year colleges, policymakers and local business representatives to work together to develop a regional solution. The members of cross domain groups established during the Summit will continue their work in advancing STEM opportunities for our region.
This model of regional cooperation and shared resources may become a national standard and was designed by Dr. Laurie Miller McNeill of RCC and Dr. Edmund W. Gordon of The CEJJES Institute, RCC’s partner in the grant. Dr. Gordon also serves as chair of the Gordon Commission on the Future Assessment in Education at the Educational Testing Service. McNeill and Gordon are the co-principal investigators for the grant.
Discussions will focus on: emerging opportunities, improving instruction, and creating partnerships for a stronger STEM pipeline throughout the region.
US economic growth is dependent on STEM innovation yet the country does not produce enough college graduates in the fields to be globally competitive. The recent report, Engage to Excel, links social, economic, and national security to increasing the number of qualified STEM professionals by one million within the next decade. Increasing the participation of underrepresented minorities and women is another important goal in STEM education.