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South Metro-Salem STEM Partnership Adds More Community Partners

May 06, 2013
Autodesk, First Tech Credit Union, Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center, NASA/Oregon Space Grant Consortium, Newberg School District and Xerox Join STEM Partnership

The South Metro-Salem STEM Partnership celebrated the addition of seven new members at its quarterly meeting on April 29, 2013. The seven new partners, Autodesk, First Tech Credit Union, Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center, NASA/Oregon Space Grant Consortium, Newberg School District, Oregon ASK, and Xerox have joined the coalition of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Partners, organized by Oregon Tech and Oregon FIRST Robotics, to catalyze Oregon students to achieve more STEM degrees and certificates, and engage students in experiential learning.

Each partner has committed to offering resources to achieve the partnership’s goals. For example, Autodesk will provide free software downloads, curriculum, and training videos for all partner schools. First Tech will allocate scholarship dollars to First Tech members that pursue STEM degrees and will market opportunities for engagement of their members in local classrooms and on STEM projects. Legacy Meridian Park is opening their facilities to partner schools for educational field trips, tours, and hands-on experience with surgical robots.

Allyson Anderson, Chief Administrative Officer for Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center, explains, “Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center staff and physicians look forward to expanding our close relationship with schools through participation in the STEM partnership. In particular, we anticipate that our new Robot Academy for high school students will inspire young people to consider careers in not just medicine, but other fields as well. By opening our operating room doors, students can see, touch, and experience things that they won’t find in a traditional classroom.”

NASA/Oregon Space Grant Consortium will provide resources for a staff position and access to the national network of NASA-supported STEM professional development for teachers. Newberg School District is providing leadership in the design of STEM professional development for teachers, instructional coaches, and administrators. Oregon ASK (After School for Kids) will provide a STEM needs assessment and planning process to connect school-day to afterschool and summer programs for partner schools. Xerox will continue to support the Xerox Science Consultant Program in partnership with Portland Public Schools, working with other organizations in the South Metro-Salem STEM Partnership to create similar programs, and encourage their engineers to volunteer their time as mentors and classroom co-instructors.

The next phase of this partnership plan involves hiring a STEM NETwork Director to connect all the South Metro-Salem community and partner resources with classrooms, teachers, and students.

The South Metro-Salem STEM Partnership is composed of 13 regional school districts, two community colleges, three universities, five community programs like FIRST Robotics and Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum, and many technology companies. Founding signatory Partners include Amity, Canby, Gladstone, Lake Oswego, McMinnville, Molalla River, North Clackamas, Oregon City, Salem-Keizer, Tigard-Tualatin, West Linn-Wilsonville, Woodburn School Districts, Chemeketa and Clackamas Community Colleges, Oregon Tech, Pacific University, Western Oregon University, FIRST Robotics, Project Lead the Way, Mad Science, Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum, and private sector employers Garmin AT, Intel, and Mentor Graphics.

The partners are working together to raise the achievement of students at all grade levels within their districts by providing teachers with professional development in project-based learning, linking private sector community resources with school needs, and providing more opportunities for students to get dual high school/college credits in science, technology, engineering, and math. The goal is to have the STEM Network ready for the start of school in Fall 2013.

For further information visit www.oit.edu/STEM, or contact:

Lita Colligan, Associate Vice President, Oregon Tech, 503-821-1247, lita.colligan@oit.edu

Deb Mumm-Hill, PNW Director, FIRST, 503-715-6365, deb@oregonfirst.org


About Oregon Tech

Founded in Klamath Falls in 1947, Oregon Institute of Technology is one of seven universities in the Oregon University System, and the only public institute of technology in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon Tech provides degree programs in engineering and health technologies, management, communication, and applied sciences that prepare students to be effective participants in their professional, public, and international communities through hands-on learning. Oregon Tech has a full-service, residential campus in Klamath Falls and an urban, industry-focused campus in Wilsonville. Visit www.oit.edu to learn more about Oregon Institute of Technology.

About FIRST

Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST ® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills, while working to motivate young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from three out of every five Fortune 500 companies and nearly $15 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC® ) and FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC®) for high-school students, FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®) for 9 to 14-year-olds (9 to 16-year-olds outside the U.S. and Canada), and Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr.FLL®) for 6 to 9-year-olds. Gracious Professionalism is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go to www.usfirst.org.

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