Back-to-School 101: Encouraging science, tech, math - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Back-to-School 101: Encouraging science, tech, math

Posted: Updated:
RUTLAND, Vt. -

As many students at Stafford Technical begin their senior year, college and careers are already a topic on the forefront. And although the tech center offers a wide range of programs from cosmetology to video productions, Stafford administrators say something was missing.

"Our focus was to create a new program that served a need. And the need is we need more students in the science, technology, engineering, math-- STEM-- pipeline," said Fieh Chan, the STEM coordinator.

Beginning in 2014, Stafford Tech will be offering a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics or STEM, program. After receiving a program innovation grant last year, Chan says the school reached out to local businesses to see what the local working industry was lacking.

"The first thing they said is they don't have enough people applying for these high-skilled, high-wage jobs. So, it may be a misconception, but Rutland has-- especially with GE and GMP here-- we have an amazing pool of wonderful jobs," Chan said.

Chan says the new program will aim to create a high-tech, high-demand and high-wage course of study for students. Using a nationwide curriculum, Project Lead the Way, students will all take the same four courses during the two-year program. Chan says along with rigorous engineering courses, students will also have a heavy hands-on focus with some high-tech gadgets.

The program will be open to 16 students a year and could cost the school a pretty penny. Stafford Tech Assistant Director Ted Guilmette estimates the new program could cost $100,000 each year. But between grant money and student tuition, he doesn't estimate the budget will take a hit.

"We received grant monies this last year of $71,000 approximately. And what this money did was allow us to get started on this program before we move it into our final budget in another year," Guilmette said.

But Guilmette says the tech center strongly believes the costs are worth it. Students will graduate from the program with up to 12 college-level credits. Current sophomores from the tech or feeding schools can apply this year for the program.

"I'd like to find out more and possibly apply," said Matt Burd, a sophomore. "I'm not 100 percent sure, but once I take a look, I might."

"I really do like math, so that could work in there. And I really like science after this year, so it's perfect for STEM," said Anna Smiechowski, a sophomore.

Both students say they are interested in the STEM program, but aren't sure they are ready for commitment.

"The only thing that would stop me is time because I like to do everything, so that doesn't always work out too well. Because that means I only have a little chunk for everything. I can't really dedicate myself," Smiechowski said.

Chan says he doesn't expect there will be a problem filling the 16 spots.

Stafford officials say depending on the program's success, they hope to expand the STEM courses over the next few years.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Hinesburg man in custody after alleged shooting

    Hinesburg man in custody after alleged shooting

    Friday, April 25 2014 4:04 AM EDT2014-04-25 08:04:41 GMT
    Police say a 71-year-old man is in custody accused of shooting a female relative in the hand and chest around 8:30 Thursday evening.The incident happened on Richmond Road. The Hinesburg police chief says the man was arrested without incident. He and the victim are long time residents of Hinesburg. Detectives are still investigating what sparked the shooting. But the chief says neither the victim nor the shooter have had any interactions with police before this. The woman was taken to Fletche...More >>
    Police say a 71-year-old man is in custody accused of shooting a female relative in the hand and chest around 8:30 Thursday evening.The incident happened on Richmond Road. The Hinesburg police chief says the man was arrested without incident. He and the victim are long time residents of Hinesburg. Detectives are still investigating what sparked the shooting. But the chief says neither the victim nor the shooter have had any interactions with police before this. The woman was taken to Fletche...More >>
  • Springfield police search for armed robber

    Springfield police search for armed robber

    Friday, April 25 2014 12:00 AM EDT2014-04-25 04:00:49 GMT
    Springfield Police need your help to find an armed robber. They say yesterday a white man carrying a semi-automatic handgun held-up the Jenny Wren Café on Main Street. The suspect is described as 19-29 with a slight build and no taller than 5-foot-9.Police say he had a dark buzz cut, acne, and was wearing a red Ecko hooded sweatshirt.If you have any information on the robbery call Springfield Police.More >>
    Springfield Police need your help to find an armed robber. They say yesterday a white man carrying a semi-automatic handgun held-up the Jenny Wren Café on Main Street. The suspect is described as 19-29 with a slight build and no taller than 5-foot-9.Police say he had a dark buzz cut, acne, and was wearing a red Ecko hooded sweatshirt.If you have any information on the robbery call Springfield Police.More >>
  • Arlington man facing an animal cruelty

    Arlington man facing an animal cruelty

    Friday, April 25 2014 12:03 AM EDT2014-04-25 04:03:45 GMT
    An Arlington man is facing an animal cruelty charge after police say they found a dead dog on this property.It happened at 2760 VT Route 313. Troopers were at Rick Thompson's home investigating a burglary involving a wood burning stove when they discovered the dog. Thompson told police the dog died from kennel cough but a vet later determined the dog had been starved to death. The 47-year-old is due in court next month.More >>
    An Arlington man is facing an animal cruelty charge after police say they found a dead dog on this property.It happened at 2760 VT Route 313. Troopers were at Rick Thompson's home investigating a burglary involving a wood burning stove when they discovered the dog. Thompson told police the dog died from kennel cough but a vet later determined the dog had been starved to death. The 47-year-old is due in court next month.More >>
  • Senator Sanders pushes for better access to primary care

    Senator Sanders pushes for better access to primary care

    Friday, April 25 2014 12:06 AM EDT2014-04-25 04:06:48 GMT
    Senator Bernie Sanders is pushing for better access to primary care for patients in Vermont and across the country.More >>
    Senator Bernie Sanders is pushing for better access to primary care for patients in Vermont and across the country. More >>
  • Burlington School budget one step closer to re-vote

    Burlington School budget one step closer to re-vote

    Friday, April 25 2014 12:09 AM EDT2014-04-25 04:09:20 GMT
    A new Burlington School Budget is one step closer to a re-vote in the Community.The Burlington School board voted in favor of a 67.4 million dollar budget. Dozens of parents and voters turned out Thursday night for public testimony on their thoughts and concerns on the new more expensive budget. A recent audit uncovered a 2.5 million dollar deficit forcing the board to slash about 2.5 million dollars in programming and staff. This new budget is 600-thousand dollars MORE than what was voted do...More >>
    A new Burlington School Budget is one step closer to a re-vote in the Community.The Burlington School board voted in favor of a 67.4 million dollar budget. Dozens of parents and voters turned out Thursday night for public testimony on their thoughts and concerns on the new more expensive budget. A recent audit uncovered a 2.5 million dollar deficit forcing the board to slash about 2.5 million dollars in programming and staff. This new budget is 600-thousand dollars MORE than what was voted do...More >>
  • Robber hits the same bank twice?

    Robber hits the same bank twice?

    Thursday, April 24 2014 7:01 PM EDT2014-04-24 23:01:18 GMT
    A security guard and bank manager at the People's United in St. Albans held a would-be robber until police arrived. And investigators think he is the same man who robbed the bank Monday.More >>
    A security guard and bank manager at the People's United in St. Albans held a would-be robber until police arrived. And investigators think he is the same man who robbed the bank Monday.More >>
  • Man shot by Vt. cop faces charges

    Man shot by Vt. cop faces charges

    Thursday, April 24 2014 7:31 PM EDT2014-04-24 23:31:24 GMT
    A man shot by an officer inside the Bennington police station faces charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.More >>
    A man shot by an officer inside the Bennington police station faces charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.More >>
  • Man charged in Vt. teacher killing wants confession tossed

    Man charged in Vt. teacher killing wants confession tossed

    Thursday, April 24 2014 2:29 PM EDT2014-04-24 18:29:39 GMT
    A Vermont man charged with killing a popular St. Johnsbury teacher is asking a judge to exclude from his upcoming trial a detailed confession he gave to police investigators.More >>
    A Vermont man charged with killing a popular St. Johnsbury teacher is asking a judge to exclude from his upcoming trial a detailed confession he gave to police investigators.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.