Category Archives: STEM

Stafford STEM Update from Rutland Herald

Today’s Rutland Herald published this update regarding the new STEM program at Stafford Tech, to start in Fall 2014.  You will need an online subscription to read full article.  But here are some excerpts:

Stafford Technical Center is moving full-steam ahead on its plans to create a course of study emphasizing STEM — science, technology, engineering and math.

This week, high school students from around Rutland County are visiting Stafford to explore the many courses of study offered by the school, including STEM Academy, which will begin this fall.

The program will have as many as 16 students during its first year, said STEM Academy coordinator Fieh Chan, who described the prospective class as “the perfect size for students to engage in group projects while still giving them plenty of one-on-one attention.”

Code.org predicts IT Job Gap

According to Code.org, which provides free tutorials on computer programming, they predict that over the decade 2011-2020, the U.S. will have an IT job gap of 1 million jobs.  Based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the combined available jobs (1.4 million) could outpace the number of Computer Science college graduates (400K) over this decade.

There are 33 U.S. States where a computer science course does not count towards high school math and science requirements.  Luckily, Vermont is one of 17 States that does recognize computer science as required course.

I was very fortunate to have taken a BASIC computer programming course in 1974, on a teletype machine with dialup modem, taught by a very good math teacher.  It got me started on a long and interesting career path.

Sadly, 90% of U.S. schools do not offer computer programming courses.  So, I was pleased to recently hear that Stafford Tech will be starting a STEM Academy program in 2014-15 school year.

Getting young women interested in STEM

Here is a November 24th article from Rutland Herald about the STEM Equity Pipeline program in Vermont: Vermont career centers push for more young women in STEM.

In the latest effort to close the gap, the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity — a National Science Foundation-funded program — chose Vermont to participate in the STEM Equity Pipeline, which will “develop strategies to increase female student participation and completion in STEM,” according to a statement.

The two-year project establishes a Career Technical Education workgroup, made up of public- and private-sector leaders from across the state. Team members include participants from the Vermont Agency of Education, the Vermont Department of Labor, the state’s Commission on Women, the Community College of Vermont, Stafford Technical Center, and Burton Snowboards, among others.

Note: You many need to have an online subscription to the Rutland Herald to view above article link.

Here is the website for nation program of STEM Equity Pipeline.

Here is the contact information for Vermont’s STEM Equity Pipeline program.

On a related note, I participated in this year’s VT Hackathon on October 11-12 in Winooski, with two other friends (we are all alumni from Marlboro Grad Center in Brattleboro, MSIE 2007).  One of the featured orgs at this year’s VT Hackathon was Girl Develop IT, which has a Burlington, VT chapter.

If there any female tech geeks out there, please consider attending the Brainstorm meeting for Rutland Tech Club at the Rutland Free Library, Fox Room, January 11, 2014, from 1-3 PM.

Stafford Tech will add STEM Academy in Fall 2014

Some good news for Tech Education in Rutland.  Please see the November 14th article in Rutland Herald: Stafford Tech swaps out programs.

The local technical center will replace a program that teaches skills in hospitality and tourism with one focused on science and technology.

Lyle Jepson, director of Stafford Technical Center, made the announcement Tuesday night as he discussed the center’s proposed budget with the Rutland City School Board.

During the past year, there has been increased interest in having school programs that focus on STEM, or science, technology, engineering and math. Stafford will roll out its STEM academy with 16 students in the fall of 2014, and to make room, it will cut the recreation, resort and small-business management program.

Note: You many need to have an online subscription to the Rutland Herald to view above article link.

Although it may be sad news for those interested in the hospitality industry (Vermont does have a strong tourism economy), it is nonetheless good news for students who are interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.