On behalf of the State of Florida, State Senator Aaron Bean (R-Fernandina Beach) last week presented a $975,000 check on Monday, April 9, 2018, to Kathleen Schofield, executive director of STEM2 Hub; Gary Chartrand, chair of STEM2 Hub Corporate Board; and, aspiring Northeast Florida STEM students. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and it includes some of the fastest-growing, most in-demand career fields in today’s workforce. During the 2018 Legislative Session, Senator Bean worked with the Florida Legislature to secure the crucial $975,000 in funding for STEM2 Hub’s Northeast Florida 21st Century Workforce Development project, which will increase the availability of STEM-related educational programs in Northeast Florida’s schools.
“STEM education is vital to the future workforce of our state,” said Senator Bean. “I envision a Florida where all children have the chance to learn these critical skills, so they can realize their truly unlimited potential. This funding moves us closer to fulfilling this vision and provides Northeast Florida’s students with the opportunities needed to compete and excel in the 21st Century.”
The goal of STEM2 Hub’s project is to expand access to schools and organizations so that they may consistently offer 21st Century Skills Development programs to students in the Northeast Florida region. This will assure broader exposure to programs with a focus on robotics, coding and workforce-aligned after-school programs, taking place in both formal and informal learning spaces, and high-quality instruction in mathematics. Schools targeted by STEM2 Hub will be able to participate in math programs that will deepen content knowledge and increase student growth in math, leading to STEM capable graduates.
“As a leader in both the education and the business communities, I recognize the critical importance of accelerating the opportunities for all students to have meaningful engagement with the skills they will need to prepare them for the unknown challenges of tomorrow’s workforce,” said Chartrand. “These funds will allow us to reach deep into the community to strengthen opportunities for children that will open doors to their future and put them on a pathway to the most in-demand careers. We are thankful to our state leaders for valuing the importance of this work.”
“It is so important that we give all students the opportunity to grow competent in the skills of problem solving and critical thinking,” said Schofield. “We must make students feel connected to community and business leaders, as well as to their schools, so that they see a pathway to their own success. I am honored to have the opportunity to advance this work, accelerating the growth and development of programs that will allow Northeast Florida students to be tomorrow’s leaders of the new and exciting world that lies ahead.”
For more information about STEM2 Hub, please visit: stem2hub.org/
Senator Bean represents Senate District 4, which includes parts of Nassau and Duval Counties. He can be contacted in Tallahassee at (850) 487-5004 or in his District Office at (904) 757-5039.