SC educators, lawmakers discuss school changes at conference

By Shelby Coates (WSPA)

Student across the state are gaining real-life, job-related skills in science, technology, engineering and math—STEM. Now STEM will become STEAM by adding the arts into the equation. Educators say future workers will be more competitive innovators through STEAM.

“We artificially separate those as subjects in school, but in the real world they are meant to be together,” said Dr. Tom Peters, Executive Director of the SC Coalition For Mathematics and Science.

This week more than 400 educators and lawmakers are in Spartanburg to discuss the best way to add more STEAM to area schools.

“STEM is where the jobs are,” said Peters.

Currently, In South Carolina there’s no program to certify a stem school, and there’s no way of keeping up with what schools are doing when it comes to STEM programs and their progress. The state wants to change that and get more communities, lawmakers and companies on board.

“Our friends at Boeing are hiring all the time,” said Peters. “Our friends at BMW and Michelin and Fluor–they are looking for STEM capable talent. They want to look here in the state. They want to hire from their own backyard. They want to grow this economy.”

The SC Summit on STEM and the Arts” continues Tuesday at the Chapman Cultural Arts Center in Spartanburg.

Also, announced at the conference, the state is expanding its “This School’s Got Talent” competition to include “This School’s Got STEM Contest.

Starting February 20, students can enter three-minute videos showing STEM programs in their classroom.

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