ETSU to host annual STEM education conference

Published 7:47am Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Plans for a gathering at East Tennessee State University Thursday and Friday stem from a desire to celebrate innovations science, technology, engineering and mathematics – and to find ways to give students higher skills in those areas.
Educators, business leaders, policymakers and parents are expected for the eighth annual STEM Conference at the Millennium Center in Johnson City on May 29 and 30.
The conference, “Broadening Participation in STEM: Commitment to Supporting a STEM Workforce,” is sponsored by ETSU’s Center of Excellence in Mathematics and Science Education.
Skills in those areas are considered vital for students to prosper in the current economic environment.
More than 200 participants are expected to be on hand to hear national, regional and local leaders stress the need for the education system to give students with knowledge and skills attuned to the globalized economy.
“This conference provides a forum to think through the STEM challenges laid down for education and the next steps for school-led transformation,” said Jack Rhoton, executive director of the Center of Excellence. “It will promote greater awareness about the critical role that STEM education plays in enabling our region, state and nation to maintain their economic and technological vitality.”
The conference opens Thursday with a luncheon overview of Gov. Bill Haslam’s “Drive to 55,” an initiative to increase the percentage of Tennesseans holding college degrees or certifications to 55 by the year 2025.
Richard Rhoda, executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, will be the speaker.
Activities continue with panel discussions on STEM education topics, featuring educators, administrators, government officials, scientists and other professionals from ETSU and local, state and regional businesses, industries, government, health care organizations and more.
To register or for more information, contact Rhoton at 439-7589 or rhotonj@etsu.edu. For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at 439-8346.

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