KEF pledges continued dedication to STEM program in Kennett

Photo by Wm. Shawn Weigel Kennett School District Superintendent Barry Tomasetti accepts a check to support science and technology progams from Kennett Education Foundation ;lkj;lkj;lkj;lk, at the banquet on Monday.

The Kennett Education Foundation continues its dedication to a STEM program in Kennett schools with a huge donation and fund raising good times on Monday night.

The KEF hosted its eighth annual spring dinner at Mendenhall Inn, with a packed house of enthusiastic Kennett teachers, administration all eager to sing the praises of the STEM program.

Standing for 'Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics,' the district announced its intention to incorporate a STEM program into its curriculum last spring.

The KEF then followed suit with a pledge to commit $150,000 over the next five years towards that goal.

Superintendent Barry Tomasetti said that a recent study showed that, in order for America to keep afloat in the rising global economy, its children have to be equipped with adequate skill sets in those fields.

He added that the administration is excited to begin offering STEM courses at Kennett Middle and Kennett High School in the fall of 2013.

'And because we are implementing this program with current Kennett teachers, we are confident that this initiative will be an overwhelming success,' he said.

Tomasetti explained that the program would be implemented using the 'Project: Lead the Way' standards, which he said has become an industry standard for districts seeking STEM implementation.

'Project: Lead the Way presents a comprehensive engineering and biomedical science curriculum that has been designed by collaborative process by teachers, university professors and engineers and biomedical professionals,' he said. 'To promote the skills of thinking, innovation, and real-world problem solving.'

Introducing their students to the program, he said, has been made possible by donations from the KEF and community members like the ones in attendance on Monday night.

'We are extremely grateful for your support, and we look forward to offering to the children in our schools this exciting program,' he said.

Making the strongest argument for a STEM program, Kennett graduate Sebastian Fisher talked about the lack of such programs in the district during his tenure there.

He still, however, managed to foster a love of science and engineering principles – enough to now, as a college graduate, work for DuPont at their experimental station.

Speaking about the dull nature of some physics principles, Fisher said that when those principles are presented in a real-world fashion – as they would be in STEM classes – they make much more sense.

'I don't know about you but that sounds a lot like the robotics club,' he said.

KEF director Elizabeth Stinson said that the organization's partnership with the district will deepen as they follow through with the STEM initiative.

'In light of the current economic conditions … and its impact on public education, we want to make sure we're preparing for our future,' Stinson said. 'We don't want to rest on our laurels.'

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