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ESD Sets Two-Day Conference On Boosting STEM Education

SOUTHFIELD — The Engineering Society of Detroit Institute plans a two-day symposium for Friday, March 1 and Saturday, March 2 on increasing Michigan’s levels of proficient high school students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics — the so-called STEM disciplines.

The event will be held at ESD headquarters, 20700 Civic Center Drive, Suite 450 in Southfield. More at www.esdinstitute.net/stem/index.shtml.

ESDI officials point out that according to the Education Trust Midwest, only 9 percent of low-income, eighth-grade students in Detroit passed the math portion of the MEAP test, compared with 33 percent of Michigan students statewide.

Also, according to the most recent MEAP scores released last week by the state, overall Michigan students made academic gains in math, reading and writing last year, but continue to struggle in science.

Meanwhile, employment growth of STEM occupations has far outpaced the employment growth across all occupations, yet very low numbers of American students are pursuing skill development and degree programs in the STEM disciplines, and elementary school students and their teachers have the fewest opportunities to engage in STEM initiatives.

The Engineering Society of Detroit Institute STEM symposium aims to bring all stakeholders together for the first time to “envision a STEM Educational Path that will optimize the quality of life for all students.”

Based on the principles and goals of the Michigan STEM Partnership, the STEM Symposium is an effort of ESDI to bring together business leaders, policymakers, teachers of various grade levels, students, parents, employers in STEM fields, and more.

The goal is to draft a blueprint that will benefit all Michigan students — across all districts, income levels, and demographics, so that we produce a successful and competitive engineering and technical workforce.

Scheduled speakers at the event include representatives from business, public and private schools, teacher unions and universities. There will be student panels as well.

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