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Mazama High School Students Sign Commitment to STEM&M Collaboration with Oregon Tech

Apr 27, 2016
Nearly 70 STEM&M students signed up for a ground-breaking collaboration between Oregon Tech and Mazama High School


Sixty-six students signed on the line Wednesday declaring their participation in the STEM&M program, a partnership between Mazama High School and Oregon Tech.
The agreement has been in the works since early January with the intention of encouraging closer institutional ties between the schools and developing beneficial scholarships for students. The program, titled STEM&M, focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, with the added “M” for Medical pathways. 
“As a Klamath County native, Oregon Tech alumnus and current Oregon Tech administrator, I am so excited for this opportunity,” said LeAnn Maupin, dean of the College of Health, Art and Science at Oregon Tech. “Partnerships such as this are a win-win for everyone.” 
After shaking hands with Mazama Principal Steve Morosin and Oregon Tech President Dr. Chris Maples, students signed their STEM&M agreements and donned Oregon Tech and Mazama hats to show their commitment. 
“I am thrilled to reach this point in our STEM&M program,” said Laura Nickerson, science teacher and STEM&M director at Mazama. “Today’s signing day was the cap of our application process, our advertising process and our selection process. Just to see all the kids, they were so excited today.” 
STEM&M is a unique program guiding Mazama High School students through STEM&M pathways leading directly to programs at Oregon Tech. The collaboration focuses on dual credit courses, student and faculty visits, mentoring opportunities, and information sharing to benefit students. STEM&M faculty work together to create a collegial environment and sponsor multiple extra-curricular activities for participants each year. While in the pathway program, students will take field trips to tech centers in Silicon Valley and Portland, and hear from monthly guest speakers. 
Students participating in the program will also have preferential access to specific Oregon Tech programs and STEM&M graduates who choose Oregon Tech for their college will each receive scholarships:
  • OWL scholarship: $1,500 freshmen year
  • Oregon Tech’s presidential scholarship: $2,000 renewable each year
  • Total: $9,500 in scholarships for college
Students signing on Wednesday were excited for the opportunities before them. 
“Even if you don’t go to OIT, it’s still something that looks good on resumes and it pushes yourself,” said Jack Boulter, 15, a newly-signed STEM&M student. “I’m interested particularly in civil engineering and I’m in the engineering path right now.
Once accepted into the program, students must maintain a 3.0 GPA or better, be required to take specific STEM&M classes that are above what is required by the state of Oregon for a regular diploma, and they must earn 10 STEM&M points per year, which will be offered in a variety of ways, the first of which is an opportunity to be a summer counselor at a junior STEM&M camp. Progress of each student will be followed through a variety of ways, including text messaging, Facebook/website updates, and check-ins each semester. Parents are also encouraged to stay involved through these methods.
STEM&M is one-of-a-kind, both because of the partnership between Mazama and Oregon Tech, and because of the opportunities for students.
“I don’t know if students today realize how exciting of a day this is,” Mazama Vice Principal Randy Rose said. “This is very special. I’ve never seen anything like this at Mazama or in the Klamath Basin.”
“It’s one in the Basin, it’s one in Oregon,” Nickerson said. “We really haven’t seen another program like this anywhere. The opportunities it’s going to afford our kids are just going to be incredible. 
“I know that we’re going to come back in four years and we’re going to have something similar,” Nickerson continued, “but they’re going to be wearing graduation gowns and be well-prepared for the future.”
For more information, contact Marla Edge, Director of Academic Agreements, at 541.885.1034 or marla.edge@oit.edu.
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