, Newburyport, MA

Local News

February 21, 2012

Schools look to develop stronger STEM program

NEWBURYPORT — In the rapidly changing fields of science, technology, engineering and math — or STEM, as those fields are commonly referred — lies the key to a prosperous future. That's what a growing number of political and industry leaders believe, and they're telling today's educators, in hopes of pushing more students into those fields and ensuring the big ideas and discoveries of the future are made in America.

On board with that goal is Superintendent Marc Kerble, who announced last week plans to put together a STEM ad hoc committee to look at designing high school courses around the initiative, and pushing more local kids into what's known as the "Stem Pipeline."

"The state of Massachusetts would like to see more male and female students in the state enter the STEM field," said Kerble, who is working with NHS Principal Mike Parent and Assistant Superintendent Angela Bik on the initiative.

"What we're hoping for is to bring people at the high school — teachers and members of the community — to come together and talk about STEM, and really talk about what we're doing at the high school, possibly looking at courses and programs and internships that may be useful to students."

Kerble is hoping to sway an ad hoc committee on the benefits of doing something similar to what his former Winchester School District was undertaking as he was making the transition to Newburyport.

"I'm hoping this ad hoc committee makes a recommendation I support right now, which is to develop a STEM certificate for our students in Newburyport," said Kerble. "It will mean students have taken so many courses and have worked on independent projects and have done an internship and maybe met other criteria so they can earn the certificate and use it as a way to help them enter college."

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