Lake Washington Institute of Technology says
You may have heard the buzzword 'STEM' if you are following education issues in our country. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In our fast changing world, STEM education plays a critical role in enabling the U.S. to remain the economic and technological leader of the 21st century global marketplace. The world is changing around us, and in truth becoming much more competitive. In response, there is a national call to increase STEM education in our K-12 school systems.
As you can imagine from our name, Lake Washington's programs largely embrace STEM. Most of our programs require math and science backgrounds and some form of technology. This includes our broad swath of allied health disciplines, as well as programs in manufacturing, computing, design, transportation and management.
Additionally, there are STEM components in most of our workforce-oriented programs. Just take a look at environmental horticulture, welding, auto technician, baking, and culinary arts. You may be surprised at the amount of STEM knowledge that goes into these degrees and certificates.
In fact, we believe so much in STEM that we recently partnered with the Edmonds School District, UW, Edmonds Community College and The Boeing Company to support the STEM Magnet High School program at Montlake Terrace High School. The HS will offer advanced STEM courses in aerospace, robotics, computer science and biotechnology, all areas that will prepare their graduates to compete in our technical curricula at Lake Washington.
Of course, this wasn't our first step into high school STEM education. We run one of the most 'STEM-centric' high schools in the state, our own Lake Washington Technical Academy here on our Kirkland campus.
What's more, as the K-12 system increases STEM activities, we too are increasing opportunities for high school graduates. In addition to our vast offerings, we're developing new programs in applied engineering and technology as well as transportation and logistics.
If our youth are going to be the technological leaders of tomorrow, Washington school districts must focus on STEM subjects and increase excitement, understanding and skills in these disciplines. Not only will it help them take the next educational step beyond high school into an institution like LWIT, but it will support a successful career in the future.
If you're interested in learning more about STEM, I recommend learning about Project Lead the Way, a national program focused on promoting STEM in our K-12 school systems. Supported by national professional societies, PLTW is reaching out to middle schools and high schools with curricula that enhance learning related to STEM disciplines. In fact, Montlake Terrace is making PLTW content available in its programs.
Another national organization that is a big fan of STEM is First, which sponsors local, regional and national robotics competitions. I am a big fan of First, having had the pleasure of being a team sponsor in Idaho and a state sponsor in Oregon. Instilling an excitement for technology in high school students and supporting their efforts to obtain valuable technical education is an investment in all of our futures.