The Virginia Board of Education this week approved proposals from Chesapeake, Fairfax County and Roanoke County to establish Governor’s STEM Academies offering rigorous academic and career and technical education programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (subjects known collectively as “STEM”).
The approval of the three new Governor’s STEM Academies — along with approval last month of an academy in Virginia Beach — brings the number of approved programs to 14, just two shy of Governor Robert F. McDonnell’s goal of doubling the number of STEM academies by the end of his term in January 2014. The newly approved academies are as follows:
• Chesapeake — Grassfield High School Governor’s STEM Academy, opening in 2012-2013, will prepare students for career pathways in engineering, technology, programming, software development and marketing.
• Fairfax County — New Commonwealth Governor’s STEM Academy at Chantilly High School and Chantilly Academy, opening in 2013-2014, will prepare students for career pathways in engineering, technology and network systems.
• Roanoke County — Governor’s STEM Academy at the Burton Center for Arts and Technology, opening in 2012-2013, will prepare students for career pathways in engineering, technology, broadcasting, and facility and mobile equipment maintenance.
“With proposals before the board in June and July to establish STEM academies in New Kent County and Richmond County, I am confident we will achieve Governor McDonnell’s goal well ahead of schedule,” Board of Education President David M. Foster said. “And in doing so, we will expand opportunities for students in these important disciplines.”
There were eight Governor’s STEM Academies when McDonnell was inaugurated in January 2010.
At its April 26, 2012, meeting, the Board of Education approved Virginia Beach’s request to establish the Governor’s STEM Academy for Engineering, Marketing, and Information Technology Studies at Landstown High School. The academy, opening in 2012-2013, will offer programs in engineering, technology, digital communications and sales and marketing.
Governor’s STEM Academies are designed to expand options for students to acquire literacy in science, technology, engineering and mathematics while earning industry credentials required for high-demand, high-wage and high-skill careers. Each academy represents a partnership among school divisions, postsecondary institutions and business and industry.
Submitted by Charles Pyle, Virginia Department of Education