By Jeff Cole
Governor Dave Heineman signed the proclamation yesterday, April 10, declaring 2013 to be the Year of STEM Discovery in Nebraska.
Here are the remarks I made at the ceremony to celebrate a year of STEM for everyone:
Thank you Governor Heineman for this Proclamation recognizing 2013 as A Year of STEM Discovery in Nebraska: Everywhere/Everybody.
My name is Jeff Cole. I am the Network Lead for the Nebraska CLC Network, a public private partnership based at the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation where our mission is to create positive change for children through community. With me today to accept this proclamation are partners from Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, UNL’s 4 H Extension and representatives of afterschool systems serving thousands of Nebraska youth in OST STEM programs every day.
STEM – is short for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Over the past year and a half we have been working to identify and support a diverse array of STEM learning partnerships serving young people in communities across the state. We are excited about all the energy that is emerging across Nebraska this year to provide more of our state’s young people with exciting, hands-on, high-quality STEM learning opportunities.
We also firmly believe, and national researchers agree, that out of school time programs provide an ideal mechanism for facilitating diverse partnerships between schools, community groups, museums, businesses, universities and colleges, and importantly parents to provide more young people, especially youth from our state’s most challenging educational environments, with additional opportunities to explore STEM subjects. Such partnerships are vital because they create opportunities for young people to become the excited, engaged and inspired STEM discovers that our state needs to develop the high skill workforce and STEM literate citizenry required to maintain our Nebraska Advantage.
This is an exciting project because the stakeholders we work with understand that preparing all of Nebraska’s youth for success in school and life is collaborative work – an effort that needs more voices.
We encourage you to lend your voice to this effort. On your way out of the Capitol today, take a look at the displays we have set up in the rotunda illustrating just a few of the out of school time STEM collaborations taking place across the state. And take time throughout 2013 to discover, support and enhance out of school time STEM partnerships and activities strengthening youth in your community.
Thank you again Governor Heineman for adding your important voice to this cause and recognizing the vital role that out of school time programs play in providing more Nebraska youth with greater access to high quality, engaging, hands-on STEM learning opportunities.