The Summit drew more than 250 policymakers, educators, industry professionals, and students. We focused on broadening STEM education for all Maine students through TED-like brief presentations. Dynamic speakers framed Maine-based STEM opportunities and provided solid arguments for the need to strengthen STEM for Maine students and shared opportunities for doing so.
We held our first STEM Education Innovative Challenge, with six finalists competing for $2,000 to $5,000 in grant awards. Each finalist presented a fast pitch of their high, middle or elementary schools project. Summit attendees voted after the presentations were complete and we announced our winner, Nichole Hewes, Troy Central School with a $5,000 grant award.
Our goal is to reach out to educators at all levels, as well as the public more generally, with clear and consistent messages about STEM by providing three outcomes: (a) increase awareness of why the Next Generation Science Standards are important; (b) Identify seamless approaches to reducing remediation as a means to support seamless transition from high school to college to careers; and (c) promote the adoption and implementation of rigorous standards (ie, Common Core and NGSS) to facilitate college and career readiness.