“STEM education is one of the most powerful tools we have to connect our children to the opportunities of a modern innovation economy,” said Congressman Joe Kennedy III. “With the support of educators, elected officials and business leaders throughout the community, Easton continues to lead the way in finding creative, consistent ways to give their students the skills a 21st-century job market demands. I’m honored to consider myself a partner in their efforts.”
JD Chesloff, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Business Roundtable sees a clear talent development opportunity in STEM education. “The Members of the Massachusetts Business Roundtable, senior business leaders from the state’s largest employers, have identified talent development – particularly in the STEM fields – as a key policy priority for the state’s long term competitiveness. Employers are looking for workers skilled in STEM competencies, and events like this that can inspire the terrific students of Easton are essential in ensuring a robust pipeline of STEM talent. The Roundtable is pleased to be part of this day.”
Identified as a core goal of Easton Public Schools’ Strategic Plan, STEAM Education is a main area of focus for Superintendent Dr. Andrew Keough. “Advancing student achievement is a top priority for the district,” said Keough, “and one of the most powerful manifestations of this goal is the prioritization of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics education for all of our students, so they are prepared for life in the 21st century.”
Easton’s focus on STEAM reaches beyond academic performance for Selectman Daniel Smith, Chairman of the Economic Development Council. “Our challenge as a Commonwealth is we have an imbalance between the need of a skilled workforce and talent to fill that need. This why the business community and government are working together investing to ensure there is a pipeline of workers skilled in STEAM competencies. This is a workforce issue, an economic development issue, and a business imperative.”
“The challenge in Easton is less about proficiency than it is about inspiration. Students in Massachusetts pursue careers in STEAM at alarmingly low rates, far below the national average and far below our competitor states. People want to work and live in areas where their children receive a quality education,” said Smith, “but this focus goes beyond education, and truly trains our children, our future leaders, to be prepared for career opportunities that promote a high quality of life and standard of living.”
The panel format will see each panelist describing their interest and role in the development and pursuit of STEAM related projects, both academic and professional. The topic will be framed from political, business and educational perspectives, and students will be given the opportunity to ask questions of the area experts.
More information about Easton Public Schools can be found on their website at: http://www.easton.k12.ma.us/