The Southern Tier got a special visit Wednesday from the New York State Education Commissioner. Dr. John King Jr. toured the region, visiting classes focused on STEM education. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math. Our Lara Greenberg has more about Dr. King's visit and what the plans are for STEM education in the Southern Tier.
BRADFORD, N.Y. -- At Bradford Central School Wednesday, the students were teaching the adults.
New York State Education Commissioner Dr. John King Jr. stopped by the school to see how students are excelling in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.
Dr. King later announced the creation of a Southern Tier hub for the Empire State STEM Learning Network, an initiative he says is crucial for the future of students and the state of the economy.
"There are companies that are hiring but there aren't necessarily workers with the skills matched to those jobs. So the focus on STEM education is really about ensuring that the next generation of workers has the skills they need for the jobs that will be available," said King.
The Bradford Central School District is one of the first to implement the STEM pilot program and their success with it is what brought Dr. King to the school Wednesday.
"Our science teachers are saying they're coming to them more ready from the elementary level now to work with the scientific applications and processes so they're developing vocabulary very young in their schooling," said Bradford Central School superintendent Wendy Field.
And that's exactly what Dr. King hoped the STEM program would do.
By formally announcing the growth of the initiative in the Southern Tier, Dr. King says he wants to open doors for students.
"One of the things we're focused on at the Department is how do we make sure that we have really coherent, seamless set of links between K-12, higher education, and the work place," said Dr. King.
Corning Incorporated is a partner in the Empire State STEM Learning Network. They helped fund the programming in Bradford Central School, which launched the program two years ago.
Dr. King stopped at Corning Inc. and at schools in Corning as well.