Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

January 25, 2014

STEM is good

It will help our students reach their full potential

Fort Hill High School in Cumberland and Mountain Ridge High in Frostburg have been selected by the Allegany County public school system and the Maryland Business Roundtable as STEM innovation schools.

STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, and the expansion of this program in Allegany County is a good thing.

The U.S. Department of Commerce says the growth of STEM-related jobs has been triple that experienced in other fields over the past 10 years.

STEM has become a priority of Maryland’s public education system, and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has recently declared it will be a priority in West Virginia’s public schools.

 Not only are job opportunities more readily available in STEM areas, experience has shown the value of such programs with regard to overall academic performance. Instead of being mere observers, students become engaged in the learning process.

America’s public education system has come under increasing criticism for supposedly failing to prepare students for either college or the work force. Joblessness is a major problem in this country, but a repeated surveys indicate that more than half of our employers have trouble finding applicants who are qualified to hold the jobs they have available.

Our feeling has always been that education is the key to solving most of our problems — economic or otherwise.

STEM education has been shown to help our young people reach their full potential. We’re pleased to see it taking a foothold here.

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