At the regular school board meeting on Sept. 13, time was dedicated to the discussion of a possible Govenor’s STEM Academy within Botetourt County Public Schools. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. The focus is possibly an associates degree along side the high school degree and would be aimed at high wage, high tech, high skills career for students. It would be a different trail than either of the two governor’s schools or dual enrollment classes.
The Virginia Department Of Education describes a Govenor’s STEM Academy:
“Governor’s STEM Academies are programs designed to expand options for the general student population to acquire STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) literacy and other critical skills, knowledge and credentials that will prepare them for high-demand, high-wage, and high-skill careers in Virginia. Each academy is a partnership among school divisions, postsecondary institutions and business and industry.”
” STEM literacy is an interdisciplinary area of study that bridges the four areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. STEM literacy does not simply mean achieving literacy in the individual strands. STEM classrooms shift students toward investigating and questioning the interrelated facets of the world.”
“Governor’s STEM Academies can be viewed as the practical complement to academic year Governor’s Schools. They may be new centers or existing ones where the standards are raised and efforts are refocused to align with Virginia’s STEM goals. Academies are defined by program content, not location or delivery system. Courses may be held at a high school, technical center or community college campus or may be delivered online, or though other innovative methods. However, all programs must include opportunities for internships, job shadowing, mentorships, projects, service learning or a combination.”
Dr. Tony Brads, the School Superintendent spoke to the five school board members about the possibility. “There is not an academy like this in our area and possibly could serve Craig and Allegheny Counties as well.” Arnold Burton Technical Center in Roanoke County does have a listing of a STEM Academy on the VDOE website as of May 2012. “We would hope to uses Greenfield Education and Training Center if possible,” said Brads.
The school board through board action gave permission for administration to submit a proposal to establish a STEM Academy.