Sharp Wants to Move STEM Program to CareerTech System

Senator Ron Sharp wants to move a STEM education program oversight to the Department of Career and Technology Education. Senate Bill 880 would transfer the program from the Coalition for the Advancement of Science and Mathematics Education in Oklahoma (CASMEO) to the CareerTech system. Sharp said demand for the STEM Region/Community program has grown past what CASMEO can provide.

“The purpose of STEM education is to prepare students for future careers in the core essential areas of science, technology, engineering and math,” said Sharp.  “With its emphasis on job certification, Oklahoma’s CareerTech is the logical agency to develop future STEM Regions and Communities throughout our state; and I applaud them for stepping forward to take on this task.”

CASMEO Director Ben Robinson said SB 880 will help grow STEM education and was pleased that CareerTech agreed to take over the program.

“Oklahoma’s STEM program has been tremendously successful and growing so fast that our coalition simply doesn’t have the means to continue overseeing it so we are thrilled that CareerTech has volunteered to take it over so this important program doesn’t lose momentum,” said Robinson.  “Having our statewide network of career technology centers now promoting our STEM Community initiative, we will be able to reach more communities, help more students and create, benefit and engage more industry and education partnerships.”

Dr. Marcie Mack, Executive Director of CareerTech said her agency will continue doing all they can to continue the growth of STEM education throughout the state.

“In Career and Technology Education, science, technology, engineering and mathematics is integrated throughout our courses. From agricultural education and computer sciences to construction trades and manufacturing, various components of STEM instruction occurs,” said Mack.  “STEM education is critical to the development and success of Oklahoma’s workforce. CareerTech has been and will continue to facilitate the growth and development of STEM education to benefit our state’s economy.”

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