For Immediate Release
July 7, 2015
CONCORD – Building on her efforts to help students develop the skills and critical thinking needed for success in the innovation economy, Governor Maggie Hassan issued an Executive Order today re-establishing the Governor's Task Force on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education. The re-established task force will work to assist the state with implementing the recommendations in the task force's report released in January.
"Modernizing how we educate our students in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math is critical to helping them develop the skills needed for good jobs in the innovation economy," Governor Hassan said. "This diverse group of leaders from the education and business communities came together last year to propose a robust set of recommendations, and I look forward to their work to help implement those recommendations and continue the ongoing process of strengthening public education in New Hampshire."
The STEM Task Force recommendations outline how New Hampshire schools and students can be more competitive in the 21st century economy, will help strengthen the foundations of STEM education, inspire students through competitions and more hands-on experiences, and empower teachers. Recognizing the success of programs built on project-based learning – like Manchester's STEAM Ahead – and the importance of students receiving a broad spectrum of educational opportunities, the Governor has directed the task force to build on its efforts to incorporate the arts into their overall conversation.
The Governor's re-established task force includes many of the same members who represent relevant experience in STEM education in kindergarten through 12th grade, the Community College System of New Hampshire, the University System of New Hampshire, and New Hampshire's colleges and universities, as well as representatives from New Hampshire's innovative businesses.
Executive Order 2015-03 also adds three additional members to the task force – one who will focus on the recommendation to engage and mentor girls for STEM careers, a director of a Career Technical Education Center to assist with the recommendation to motivate advanced studies, and a leader in early childhood learning to help ensure that we are meeting the needs of every child, including pre-K.
The task force will again be chaired by Dr. Ross Gittell, Chancellor of the Community College System of New Hampshire. Dr. Gittell brings to the task force a breadth of insight around career pathways, modernizing workforce training, and collaboration between higher education institutions, private businesses, and local school districts.
"I believe the STEM Task Force recommendations provide a solid foundation to move forward in modernizing New Hampshire's STEM K-12 Education," Dr. Gittell said, "I want to thank Governor Hassan for recognizing the important role the STEM Task Force can continue to play in the implementation of the these recommendations across our state."
Task force members will work with stakeholders from in and outside of state government to assist in implementing the report's recommendations, which will require collaboration between local school districts, New Hampshire's Department of Education, and STEM business leaders. This month the Department of Education hired Dr. Eric Feldborg – who has experience in both traditional and public charter schools, as well as in the private sector – to serve as New Hampshire's STEM Director. Dr. Feldborg will serve as the Department of Education Commissioner Virginia Barry's designee and work closely with other task force members to carry out their recommendations across the state.
Other task force members are:
The New Hampshire Department of Education will provide administrative support to the task force and will soon be announcing the first meeting.
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