Wolf Administration Highlights Investments to Bolster STEM Education

July 18, 2018

Harrisburg, Pa. – State Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera hosted the Conrad Weiser High School (Berks County) Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) team at the Capitol today, emphasizing that the team’s patent-pending medical technology is a fitting example for Governor Tom Wolf’s PAsmart initiative, a new $30 million program to improve STEM and computer science education and other jobs training opportunities.

“Increasing opportunities for young people to prepare for careers in the fast-growing STEM fields is one of my top priorities,” said Governor Wolf. “With my PAsmart initiative, we are investing in the amazing capacity of our children and creating a talented and skilled workforce that we need now and in the future.”

As part of the school’s Science Research Institute, the five-member team developed patent-pending medical technology designed to treat wounds and heal tissue. They designed a wound measurement app to record and document patients’ wounds. The captured image is then transferred to a 3D-printer for generating a personalized bioactive glass-embedded bandage. The bioactive glass composition helps to prevent infection and promote healthy cell proliferation.

Secretary Rivera added that through the governor’s PAsmart initiative, Pennsylvania is investing $30 million in workforce development, including $20 million for STEM and computer science learning. The initiative encourages employers to collaborate with schools to develop educational programs that prepare students for in-demand jobs.

“Expanding access to computer science and STEM programs prepares our students to succeed in an ever-evolving workforce,” Rivera said. “By connecting business and industry leaders with educators in our classrooms, we ensure our students are learning the skills that are in demand by Pennsylvania employers, specifically STEM and computer science professions.”

Pennsylvania is a leader in STEM education, with the third largest number of nationally-recognized STEM ecosystems and producing the fifth highest number of STEM graduates. Regarding computer science, the commonwealth recently became one of a fewer than a dozen states to endorse computer science education standards. In June, PDE hosted the Computer Science for All Summit to engage hundreds of the state’s educators and administrators in developing and implementing innovative approaches to teaching computer science.

Throughout the summer, PDE leaders are visiting educational camps, libraries, and colleges to highlight the importance of STEM education as part of the #SummerOfSTEM tour.

For more information about this grant or Pennsylvania’s education policies and programs please visit the Department of Education’s website at www.education.pa.gov or follow PDE on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

NOTE: Video, audio, and photos from this event will be available for download later today in an email from the Pennsylvania Internet News Service (PINS). To register for PINS emails contact, cms@pacast.com

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