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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • S&T chancellor, Brewer Science founder, CEO attend STEM talk

  • Redirecting the educational policies and curriculum focus for Missouri students in kindergarten through 12th grade and through college has become imperative according to featured speakers at a recent Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) event held in St. Louis and hosted by the St. Louis Business Journal.
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  • Redirecting the educational policies and curriculum focus for Missouri students in kindergarten through 12th grade and through college has become imperative according to featured speakers at a recent Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) event held in St. Louis and hosted by the St. Louis Business Journal.
    Panelists for the forum included Missouri University of Science and Technology Chancellor Cheryl B. Schrader; Dr. Sharon Frazee, vice president of research and analysis for Express Scripts; Kevin Token, senior director of BSA Life Structures; and Mike Downing, director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development.
    Dr. Terry Brewer, founder and president of Brewer Science served as the introductory speaker for the event.
    “Science, technology, engineering and mathematics do not create jobs by themselves,” said Brewer. “Industry and manufacturing that requires these skills do. At Brewer Science, there is no job that is not a STEM job and that is the trend around the country.”
    Emphasis in strengthening Missouri technology companies, creating business growth and opportunities along the Interstate 44 corridor is part of the mission of the TECH 44 Initiative, which was one of the major sponsors of the event.
    Rolla Regional Economic Commission Executive Director Cyndra Lorey and TECH 44 Executive Director Lonna Sowers, both of Rolla, attended the STEM event.
    Members of the TECH 44 Board of Directors also attending were board president Doyle Edwards of Brewer Science and Jim Curran of Electrical Connection.
    The TECH 44 Initiative, which spans a 300-mile stretch from Joplin to St. Louis, is involved in creating business growth and opportunities by leveraging unique and collective resources of the communities, companies and institutions along the I-44 corridor where 64 percent of the technology and manufacturing companies in Missouri are located.
    “Technology and innovation is the future of our economy, but there is a skills gap in Missouri,” said Downing. “We have Missourians looking for jobs and we have jobs available, but they do not match.” He stressed the need for the retraining of our workforce to prepare for these technology jobs.
    According to Schrader, “we all need to pay attention to our educational curriculum from kindergarten through high school and beyond. We need to provide mentors and encourage women to pursue these career paths.”
    She estimated that 143,000 STEM jobs will need to be filled by 2018.
    “Education will contribute to bring in those who are not in the field. We need to look at combining training. What engineers do is important to our quality of life that is so meaningful,” she said.
    Schrader pointed out that 350 schools are involved in Project Lead the Way.
    The program offers engineering and biomedical sciences to middle schools and high schools, engaging them in a hands-on curriculum.
    Page 2 of 2 - As a leading affiliate university, Missouri S&T provides teacher training, professional development and information for counselors and administrators throughout the Midwest.
    “Businesses must supply young people with real world experience and mentorship that demonstrate the possibilities offered by STEM-related field,” Brewer said.
    He referred to the intern program at Brewer Science where student interns are given actual real world jobs and 60 percent to 70 percent of their hires are from that program.
    “We must show students the world-changing possibilities that await them if they choose to pursue the STEM-based program,” Brewer said.

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