SHARING AMERICA'S TECH NEWS FROM THE VALLEY TO THE ALLEY
STEM education in the Milford Exempted Village School District is reaching new heights through a program being launched this fall. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
Superintendent Dr. Robert Farrell, Milford School Foundation board member Jim Parker and Milford schools astronaut/teacher Steve Heck announced this dynamic new STEM education program for the upcoming school year.
For the first time, this student-centered program will bring together local and international businesses, community leaders, a school district, and the new commercial space industry represented by XCOR Aerospace.
“Our goal is to have student scientists design and fly experimental flights with XCOR Aerospace. These students will be assisted by expert mentors using their own knowledge and skills as part of their fifth-grade science class,” said Farrell.
To accomplish this vision, the Milford Schools Foundation has developed a business approach to help deliver STEM education at no cost to the district. The program is supported through a Duke Energy Foundation grant of $12,000 and contributions from other area businesses and community partners.
Heck said the program has three phases.
Phase one begins in the 2013-2014 school year with a prototype program involving Milford fifth-grade teachers being trained in STEM education by iSpace in Cincinnati. All fifth-grade students then will form engineering teams and begin the design process. The goal is for each student team to develop a suborbital space flight-ready experiment.
Phase two entails student experiments flying to suborbital space aboard the XCOR Lynx spacecraft.
Phase three will focus on the return of the student experiments to the classroom for analysis and publication.
During each phase, scientists and engineers from Ohio and around the country will mentor the students. At the completion of the prototype program, the Milford Schools Foundation is committed to continuing and expanding the program.
“Our district wants to involve our students in STEM experiences that are based in real-world experiences. This project gives our students opportunities to complete a rigorous scientific experiment and engage with professionals who work in STEM-related professions. We want to our students to have the opportunity to be prepared to enter into STEM professions. This experience is clearly a win-win for businesses, communities and our school district,” said Farrell.
The Milford Schools Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit organization established to support the academic programs, services and capital improvement projects of the Milford district. The goals are to enhance and enrich educational opportunities for students and teachers, partner with businesses to meet needs, and expand horizons that will impact the entire community. Annual contributions and partnerships from and between school employees, businesses, community, alumni and friends impact the school and community. The Foundation was created by a group of community members who recognize the challenges that the community’s schools face as they strive to provide the highest level of education possible.
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