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Ground-Breaking Classroom Initiative Aims to Inspire More Students to Pursue Stem Careers.

BALTIMORE -- The Maryland Business Roundtable for Education (MBRT) today unveiled STEM Specialists in the Classroom, the initial component of Maryland's STEMnet Teacher Hub - a pioneering, one-stop-shop where STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) teachers statewide can find the resources, support, and professional connections needed to strengthen STEM teaching and learning.

"MBRT believes that widespread competency and strong innovation in science, technology, engineering, and math will ensure Maryland's - and the nation's - ability to compete internationally, prosper economically, and provide opportunity to its young people," MBRT Chairman and Northrop Grumman President Jim Pitts told a group of more than 200 business executives, government officials, and educators from across Maryland in attendance at the organization's 20th Anniversary Annual Meeting.

Designed to augment classroom instruction, demonstrate a specific subject's relevance in the workplace, and inspire students to pursue STEM careers, Specialists in the Classroom is being implemented now as a pilot program focusing on biology at four high schools in Baltimore and Harford counties - Catonsville, Eastern Tech, Woodlawn, and Bel Air.

MBRT recruited 50 life science professionals to work with select biology teachers, supporting classroom learning on topics that the teachers have indicated are either particularly challenging or of high interest to students.

"The online system operates like an 'e-Harmony' for STEM teachers and STEM workers," said MBRT Executive Director June Streckfus. Profiles of the biology and life science specialists, including their positions, employers, and specific areas of expertise, are posted online. Teachers then browse, select, and schedule STEM specialists to come into their classrooms for presentations on specific biology topics.

Ultimately, in partnership with the Maryland State Department of Education and local school districts, MBRT plans to expand STEM Specialists in the Classroom to other high schools throughout Maryland and broaden the subject matter to other STEM subjects.

The concept for STEMnet originated with Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley's STEM Task Force. In 2009, the Task Force offered seven recommendations for securing Maryland's future as a global leader in STEM-based education, research, and economic development. The overarching recommendation was to "create Maryland's STEM Innovation Network to make STEM resources available to all."

For more information about MBRT or the STEMnet Teacher Hub, visit www.mbrt.org/STEM.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1U5MD
Date:Nov 9, 2011
Words:429
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