(COLUMBIA, Tenn. – March 13, 2012) - - - Marshall County middle and high school math and science teachers now have the tools necessary to engage and educate young students interested in science, technology, engineering and math-related career fields. On Monday, March 12, Columbia State Community College’s Lewisburg campus hosted a forum that provided lessons, best practices and project-based activities that these educators can use in a classroom setting.
Columbia State’s Elizabeth McDow, the Lewisburg campus director and Professor Glenn Hudson, in collaboration with the Marshall County Board of Education and the Women in Stem Center at Middle Tennessee State University, organized the forum, which included area professionals who presented projects that the teachers used to actively develop and perform activities that will be approved for use in a classroom setting this fall. Professionals included Tom D’Apolito, Ph.D., Tennessee Department of Education; Ray Fox, a T3 educator with Texas Instruments; and Terri Schoof, a Brentwood Middle School teacher.
Middle Tennessee State University Professor Judith Iriarte-Gross delivered a keynote message regarding the status of STEM-related fields in Tennessee and gave an update on females in STEM-related fields. In Tennessee, less than 10 percent of STEM positions are held by women, so the demand is high for women in these fields.
“STEM-related professions offer great opportunities and the potential for a high-paying career, Professor Hudson said. “With the lack of young students entering these fields, the U.S. is at risk of losing its technological edge. Efforts are being expanded across Tennessee and the entire country by educators, businesses and leaders to help improve the situation, which was the purpose of the forum.”
Columbia State is currently evaluating plans to extend similar forums to its nine-county service area.
Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee’s first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, the sixth largest higher education system in the nation. For more information, please visit www.columbiastate.edu.
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