From: Stanford Lockhart (selockhart)
To: Stan Lockhart,
Subject: STEM talk with Stan Lockhart
Date: Sat Jan 11 01:57:31 MST 2014
Body:

Dear STEM Partners:

 

Happy New Year! It is a great time to be involved in STEM education in Utah. If we can continue the trajectory of progress from last year, 2014 will be full of robust opportunity for Utah’s K-12 students. We have heard through the grapevine that Oklahoma has seen our success and is modeling a bill after Utah’s HB 139.

 

Subject to Utah Senate approval, we have found an Executive Director for the STEM Action Center. Utah Valley University has loaned us Tami Goetz, former State Science Advisor and co-creator of the concept STEM Action Center. Many of you know Tami. She has the trust of those in public education, higher education and the private sector. More than anything, she is passionate about STEM education. Those of us who have worked with her, know of her talents and abilities and are confident she will be a great leader of the STEM Action Center.

 

Speaking of the STEM Action Center, it has awarded almost $150,000 in STEM competition grants and is almost ready for round two. If you are interested, contact Sue Redington at sredington@utah.gov.

 

Last year, the Legislature with unanimous support authorized $10 million for The STEM Action Center to do a Digital Learning pilot. An RFI was issued and more than 30 products were considered. 68 schools, 130 teachers and over 25,000 students participated in the pilot. An RFP was issued and awarded. Seven products were chosen for Jr. High School Math and 5 products were chosen for College Math Readiness. And the exciting part…companies competed with each other and as a result Utah will likely have enough Digital Learning tools so that that almost all students in grades 7-12 can have access to at least one of them.

 

As the STEM Action Center has focused on closing achievement gaps, they have found what we all know – the most important variable in student achievement is the teacher. In an effort to help teachers in the classroom, we are exploring a STEM certification program for teachers. The STEM Action Center has been piloting a program for Jr. High School teachers. SUU and Iron County School District have piloted an elementary school program while Jordan School District has been doing the same. This Professional Development will be a long term, best practice designed curriculum that will make a substantive impact on student achievement. It will take all of us working together to get funding from the Legislature.

 

On January 29th at noon at a location to be determined, you are all invited to attend the launch of Utah’s STEM Media Campaign. Additional details to come. With over $2.2 million pledged so far including over $1 million from Comcast and over three dozen organizations still deciding on their commitment level, this event is going to be worth attending.

 

Two requests for you:

 

1.       The Legislature is going into their annual session. They are considering how to best allocate resources to education. In addition to Digital Learning and Higher Quality Instruction, tell me what you think can move the dial the fastest on increased student achievement in science, technology, engineering and math?

2.       We want to highlight students at the media campaign kickoff. Are you aware of young inventors in Utah? Young people who have patented a creation or created a company or excelled in STEM competitions or maybe just solved a difficult problem. We have some good leads, but could use more. Please let me know.

 

Attached is an invitation for High School girls to participate in Techmaker Challenge at UVU. For additional information, contact Angie Trego at angie.trego@uvu.edu.

 

I hope that you are as excited as I am about the coming year for STEM education in Utah. There are thousands of jobs that are going unfilled. There are thousands of young people who could fill those jobs if they only had the necessary skills in science, technology, engineering and math. Let’s make it happen.

 

Best regards,

 

Stan Lockhart




Attachment(s):
2014 TechMakers UVU.PDF