Delran Receives $60,000 K-12 STEM Grant

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National Organization to Work with Delran Township Public Schools to Improve STEM Education

STEM Pathways Network, Overdeck Foundation Join Delran Township Public Schools to Improve Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Opportunities

Delran Township was chosen to participate in a national campaign to reimagine the delivery of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education for children in grades K-12 and was awarded a $60,000 grant from the Overdeck Family Foundation.

Jobs in STEM are the jobs of the future. Labor forecasts predict more than 200,000 New Jersey jobs in STEM fields must be filled by 2025. To begin to meet the need, the New Jersey STEM Pathways Network chose Delran Township Public Schools to work with a national organization that will show them how to provide the STEM education and experiences students need to succeed in college, career, and life.

I am excited to see this level of support from the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education and from the Overdeck Family Foundation.  The inherent belief in the Delran Township Public Schools application speaks volumes regarding the work that has been done in the District in recent years in addition to our vision for the future.

We know we must improve STEM education opportunities in Delran Township by providing challenging STEM environments for the students in our charge to be exposed to in advance of moving either to the workforce or to college. We have committed to prioritize our work to ensure that our children are prepared to compete in the world’s economy.  The funding from the Overdeck Family Foundation will allow this transition in Delran Township to continue and to flourish in a myriad of ways.

The STEM Pathways Network started in early 2015 when Secretary of Higher Education Rochelle Hendricks brought together a group of educators, entrepreneurs and industry leaders to suggest ways to improve K-12 STEM education.

The Network is chaired by Laura Overdeck, Founder and President of Bedtime Math and Chair of the Overdeck Family Foundation. She cited the importance of having organizations with long, successful histories of working with children.

The Overdeck Family Foundation is supported by the White House and connects STEM resources within and across local districts, so K-12 schools, after-school programs, universities, museums and other learning centers, and corporations can work together to build and reinforce our students’ STEM and 21st Century skills.

The Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM (TIES), a growing national organization which is already managing 37 STEM projects to benefit children in areas around the nation as diverse as California, Ohio, and North Carolina, received a $300,000 grant from the Overdeck Foundation to get the New Jersey project off the ground. Key to the idea is that each “community” is an integrated ecosystem, where schools, colleges, businesses and educators work together with students and parents to prepare for the STEM jobs that will drive the economy in the future.

A description of the Delran Township Public Schools project, announced in a ceremony at the Mercer County Community College Conference Center, follows:

Delran STEM Ecosystem Alliance

The Delran STEM Ecosystem Alliance will assist students to graduate with STEM knowledge, skills and applied learning capabilities necessary for success in STEM college education and careers. Aligned with the mission of the Department of Education, the Alliance will service 3,000 students in Delran, Burlington County by maximizing access to high-quality STEM education for all students, preparing students to achieve proficiency in STEM fields (particularly women, people of color and special needs populations) and supporting educators who teach STEM subjects to ensure they have access to the resources they need.

Partners include: Barnes and Noble, Moorestown; Delran Education Association; Lockheed Martin Corporation; Perkins Center for the Arts; Princeton University; PSEG; Radwell International; Rider University; Rowan College Burlington County; New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission; Princetel; and University of Kentucky Biology Lab.

All STEM programs in the District are led jointly by Mary Jo Hutchinson, Supervisor of Mathematics; Erica DeMichele, Supervisor of Science and Kari McGann, Director of Curriculum and Instruction.  All three offices coordinated on this grant application.

As we progress into the future we will report our progress out to the community regarding our progress in all areas of STEM education!

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