Wednesday 23 Apr 2014

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Golden LEAF Foundation $350,000 Grant Kicks Off STEM Program at Norwayne Middle School

From Left to Right: Steve Hill, EVP STEM, Mark Sorrells, SVP Golden LEAF Foundation, Paul Casey, CTE Instructor for Norwayne Middle School, Erlene Brogden, Director of CTE for WCPS, Dr. Steven Taylor, Superintendent WCPS, and Norwayne Principal Mario Re

There’s a lot of activity happening at Norwayne Middle School in Freemont.  Not only is a new school being built.  A new way of learning has kicked off as the result of a unique public private partnership.

STEM is the anachronism for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.  And during yesterday’s dedication, there was a stark contrast between the jobs of yesterday and today.

Paul Casey is a teacher at Norwayne and lead about 50 local dignitaries and supporters of the program through a demonstration of one of the fourteen modules designed in partnership with local employers including AAR and Cooper-Standard.  Casey pointed through a window at the older approach that looked very much like a wood and metal shop. 

STEM modules include computer assisted equipment, and with audio and video programs, leads students at all ends of the learning spectrum to learn and complete tasks.

Mark Sorrells, Senior Vice President for the Golden LEAF Foundation in Rocky Mount presented a symbolic check for $350,000 that will benefit four Eastern North Carolina schools including Norwayne.  He said it’s part of a 3-year pilot focusing on what works best in supporting emerging jobs for rural counties.

STEM East Executive Director Steve Hill claimed programs like STEM are supporting the return of manufacturing jobs that have left the United States.  According to Hill, there will be, “millions of STEM jobs”. 

Wayne County Schools Superintendent Dr. Steven Taylor pointed to jobs down the road, and the school’s commitment to graduating kids that qualify immediately for college, the workforce and the military.

Associate Superintendent and Wayne County Commissioner Sandra McCullen led the opening ceremonies.  McCullough lauded the efforts of many who were there, including Erlene Brogden.  Brogden is the Director of Career and Technical Education or “CTE” for Wayne County Public Schools.   She was credited for being the key person in the project.

Commissioner McCullen will appear as a Newsmaker on WGBR Friday, to better explain the significance of the STEM program. 

Curtis Media 2012.  Written By Bill Johnston.

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