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Maryland Employers Join Forces to Give Carroll County Students Greater Chance for Workplace Success

Maryland Business Roundtable for Education
Maryland Business Roundtable for Education

Maryland Employers Join Forces to Give Carroll County Students Greater Chance for Workplace Success

April 9th Maryland Scholars Speakers Bureau and STEM Specialists in the Classroom Programs Exemplify Unique STEM Innovation School Opportunities for Students

Carroll County, MD –Two schools in Carroll County, Manchester Valley High School and Westminster High School, have been identified as Maryland Business Roundtable for Education (MBRT) STEM Innovation Schools.  These schools will have access to programs and resources that transform the way schools and the workplace interact to strengthen student chances for success in college and careers.

Recent research shows that the more students interact with workplace professionals throughout their education, the more they earn later in life.  According to the study, students who recalled at least four school-mediated employer contacts between ages 14-19 earned 18% more three years out of high school than students who could not recall such interactions.1

In an effort to ensure that more students have at least four opportunities to interact with and benefit from the expertise and advice of workplace professionals, 49 Maryland high schools have been designated as STEM Innovation Schools, representing every Maryland school district.  Teachers and students at these schools will have unlimited access to:  hundreds of trained and enthusiastic workplace volunteers who will co-teach STEM lessons and motivate students to achieve; a wide range of high quality STEM resources aligned to Maryland state standards; and real-world challenges posed by industry professionals for students to participate in proposing solutions. 

"Our goal is to provide richer learning experiences, vibrant sources of information, and robust opportunities for students to apply learning to develop solutions to real-world problems," says June Streckfus, MBRT executive director.  "Maryland is fortunate to have strong leadership, impactful teachers, stellar institutions of higher learning, generous corporate commitment, and a caring, willing community of parents and volunteers, all of whom want the best for our students and our state."

Teachers and students at STEM Innovation Schools are using MBRT programs to enhance STEM teaching and learning and motivate students to achieve. On April 9th, at Westminster High School, MBRT volunteers from various companies including Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Carroll Community College, and TIAA-CREF engaged students in the STEM Specialist in the Classroom Program and Maryland Scholars Speakers Bureau Program. Volunteers in the STEM Specialist in the Classroom Program co-teach lessons with teachers to engage students in the real-world application of course content.  Maryland Scholars Speakers Bureau Volunteers inspire and motivate 8th and 9th grade students to excel in high school.

“It’s so important to talk about these things now and emphasize to students the importance of their high school studies and achievements,” said Laura Sines, Relationship Manager at TIAA-CREF and MBRT Speakers Bureau volunteer. “They should start talking about college, career goals, college admissions; they really light up about college. I have noticed when we discuss college the students are full of questions and things to say.”

"High school is not something you can just sit and let pass you by, you have to work,” said Jared Williams, Ninth Grade Student at Westminster High School. “Today’s speaker really reminded us of that.  She said we have stay on top of our transcripts and get involved.”

“Having a STEM specialist in the classroom has so many benefits,” said Ms. Donna Balado, Biology Teacher at Westminster High School. “They’re providing material, real world context, and real world experience. That real world experience is something the kids really respond to."

“We greatly value the opportunities and resources the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education provides for our students to further their STEM education and encourage success throughout high school and in life,” said Stephen H. Guthrie, Superintendent for Carroll County Public Schools. “Demonstrating the real-world application of things they are learning in the classroom allows students to engage with the material and begin to create a vision and direction for their studies and future. We are thrilled to see the business community embracing the opportunity to impact our students and welcome the resources these programs provide.”

Manchester Valley High School and Westminster High School were recognized at MBRT’s recent Annual Meeting as part of the state network of STEM Innovation Schools.

About MBRT

Founded in 1992, the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education is a non-profit coalition of leading employers that have made a long-term commitment to support education reform and improve student achievement in Maryland.  For more information, visit www.mbrt.org.

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1         Mann, Anthony.  Journal of Education and Work, 2013.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13639080.2013.769671

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