At its Annual Meeting on November 7, the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education (MBRT) announced the expansion of services and resources that are transforming the way schools and the workplace interact to strengthen student chances for success in college and careers.
Recent research shows that the more students interact with workplace professionals throughout their education, the more they earn later in life. According to the study, students who recalled at least four school-mediated employer contacts between ages 14-19 earned 18% more three years out of high school than students who could not recall such interactions.1
In partnership with Governor Martin O’Malley, State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lillian Lowery, and local school superintendents, MBRT developed Maryland’s STEM Innovation Network (STEMnet) – an online platform that pulls together in one place the people, resources, tools and services that teachers and students can access to strengthen teaching and learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Dr. Lillian Lowery, state superintendent of schools, stated, “We are so proud of our partnership with MBRT. Together we are providing teachers a wide range of resources in constructing learning programs that meet the needs of teachers and students. STEMnet gives schools significant value they can’t get elsewhere.”
More than one thousand Maryland teachers participated in the development of STEMnet programs and resources – from defining the help they need most and identifying math/science concepts and practices that stymie students to reviewing and creating resources to ensure alignment with new standards. As one teacher put it, “Our biggest challenge is identifying appropriate professionals who can help make relevant connections for our kids. I’ve been waiting my entire career for a resource like this.”
“Our goal is to provide richer learning experiences, vibrant sources of information, and robust opportunities for students to apply learning to solve real-world problems,” says June Streckfus, MBRT executive director. “Maryland is fortunate to have strong leadership, great teachers, stellar institutions of higher learning, generous corporate commitment, and a caring, willing community of parents, volunteers, and citizens – all of whom want the best for our students and our state.”
In an effort to ensure that more students have at least four opportunities to interact with and benefit from the expertise and advice of workplace professionals, 49 Maryland high schools have been designated as STEM Innovation Schools, representing every Maryland school district. Teachers and students at these schools will have unlimited access to: hundreds of trained and ready workplace volunteers who will co-teach STEM lessons and motivate students to achieve; a wide range of high quality STEM resources aligned to curriculum; and real-world challenges posed by real-world industry professionals for students to participate in proposing solutions.
In his remarks to the gathering, Governor Martin O’Malley declared, “Over the last seven years, working with the unique public-private partnership created by MBRT, we have taken enormous steps in preparing our students for the 21st century global economy. The progress we’ve made as a state—using the common platform of STEMnet and tools like STEM Specialists in the Classroom—proves that our better choices are yielding better results. The expansion of these initiatives means that more Maryland educators will have access to high-level STEM expertise and more Maryland students will graduate with the skills they need to compete – not only with their peers in New Hampshire and New Jersey, but those in New Delhi and New Zealand.”
Founded in 1992, the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education is a non-profit coalition of leading employers that have made a long-term commitment to support education reform and improve student achievement in Maryland. For more information, visit www.mbrt.org. MBRT’s Annual Meeting was held on November 7th at The National Electronics Museum in Linthicum, MD, which was attended by more than 200 elected officials, corporate executives, education leaders, and others. Speakers included: Governor Martin O’Malley, Congresswoman Donna Edwards, State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lillian Lowery, MBRT Chair and President of Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems Gloria Flach, and MBRT Executive Director June Streckfus. # # #
1 Mann, Anthony. Journal of Education and Work, 2013. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13639080.2013.769671
CONTACT: Mitchell Schmale