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ESD Urges STEM Education Authority, More And Earlier STEM Education

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SOUTHFIELD — The looming shortage of engineers and scientists in the United States is a frequently told story.

Concrete measures to solve the shortage? Not quite as frequently discussed.

Enter the Engineering Society of Detroit Institute, which has issued five recommendations for a sustainable, collaborative Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics blueprint in order to help fill the pipeline.

The recommendations are the product of a two-day symposium in March, attended by more than 120 stakeholders.

The five recommendations are:
* Urge the Michigan legislature to enact a STEM authority to provide a sustainable and unified voice for the promotion of STEM and the advancement of Michigan as the center of STEM-based investment and jobs.
* Increase student proficiency skills in reading and math and incorporate STEM into reading.
* Create early exposure to STEM education for students in pre-kindergarten.
* Organize a STEM stakeholder steering group with all key stakeholders to plan next steps and achieve political consensus for legislative action.
* Integrate best curriculum and behavior practices for students in Michigan’s underachieving schools.

“One of the economic problems that a number of our communities face today is the lack of STEM competencies of its residents,” said Christopher J. Webb of the ESD Institute. “Tomorrow, Michigan as a state could face the same consequence. We cannot continue to fail our youth by not providing them with the necessary skills for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”

Funded in part by the Michigan Economic Development Corp., attendees at the symposium represented academia, labor, management and business. The event kicked off with presentations by various stakeholders.

Included were:
* Barbara Bolin, Executive Director of Michigan STEM Partnership
* John Calabrese, Vice President, Global Vehicle Engineering, General Motors
* Amy Cell, Senior Vice President of Talent Enhancement, MEDC
* Dave Dugger, Director, Early College, Eastern Michigan University
* David Hecker, President, American Federation of Teachers Michigan
* Alan Lecz, Director of Employer Strategies, Workforce Intelligence Network
* Julie VanPortfliet, Program Manager, Transportation and Civil Engineering Program
* Rich Wells, Vice President Operations Canada/U.S. North and Site Director Michigan Operations, Dow Chemical

The ESD Institute will issue detailed action steps in the following two weeks to help implement these recommendations.

More information about the STEM symposium can be found on www.esdinstitute.net, or by calling Della Cassia at 248-353-0735, ext. 112.

Founded in 1895, ESD is a multi-disciplinary society uniting engineering, scientific and allied professions to enhance professional development and foster excitement in math and science to produce our next generation of leaders. Serving this generation of engineers and fostering the next. For more information, visit www.esd.org.

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