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South Metro-Salem Schools and Colleges to Sign STEM Partnership Agreement

Dec 07, 2012
Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech) will host a signing ceremony for South Metro-Salem STEM Education Partners on December 14th at 8 a.m. 

Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech) will host a signing ceremony for South Metro-Salem STEM Education Partners on December 14th at 8 a.m.  The coalition of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Partners will sign a Memorandum of Understanding at Oregon Tech’s Wilsonville Campus, and will immediately board a bus for a STEM Tour of regional companies.  The STEM Tour is a way to build collaboration among regional school superintendents, community college and university presidents, and the key businesses who will hire graduates with science and technology skills. Superintendents and STEM Partners will visit Autodesk in Lake Oswego, FLIR and Rockwell Collins in Wilsonville, and A-Dec in Newberg. 

According to Oregon Tech President Chris Maples, “The STEM Partnership is one way that schools, colleges, universities, and community partners can work together to prepare more Oregonians for careers with our local companies.  I constantly hear that employers are looking for more highly qualified scientists, IT professional, software engineers, and healthcare professionals. Oregon Tech is proud to work with such a dedicated group of educators and companies who are all focused on increasing career opportunities for Oregon students.”

The South Metro-Salem STEM Partnership includes 12 school districts, two community colleges, three universities, local out-of-school programs such as FIRST Robotics and Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum, and multiple local employers.  The partners share a common vision to:  “increase the access, excitement and engagement of students in STEM courses and experiential learning.”  They plan to use common practices such as industry involvement in the design of curriculum, professional development, project-based learning, and student coaching and inquiry. 

Signatory Partners include Amity, Canby, Gladstone, Lake Oswego, McMinnville, Molalla River, North Clackamas, Oregon City, Salem-Keizer, Tigard-Tualatin, West Linn-Wilsonville, andWoodburn School Districts, Chemeketa and Clackamas Community Colleges, Clackamas CTE Consortium, Oregon Institute of Technology, Pacific University, Western Oregon University, FIRST Robotics, Project Lead the Way, Mad Science, Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum, Business Education Compact, and private sector employers such as Garmin AT and Intel.

The partners have decided to work together to raise the achievement levels of students in all grades  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 advanced college credits in science, technology, engineering and math. 

“The South Metro-Salem STEM Partnership will get students excited about technology, discovery, professionalism and teamwork. We need scientists and engineers here in Oregon to compete in today’s worldwide market. Bringing community resources into the classroom gives kids real-world skills that are key to creating Oregon’s future leaders and innovators, a stronger economy and a more competitive workforce,”  said Robert “Buzz” Kross, Senior Vice President for Manufacturing Solutions at Autodesk, one of the companies on the tour. 

For further information contact:

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

Or visit www.oit.edu/STEM

Deb Mumm-Hill, PNW Director, FIRST




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 polytechnic university in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon Tech provides degree programs in engineering and health technologies, management, communications 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 traditional, residential campus in Klamath Falls and an urban campus in Wilsonville. The university also has sites in Beaverton, Salem, La Grande, and Seattle, as well as online degree offerings. Visit www.oit.edu to learn more about Oregon Institute of Technology.



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 motivating 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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