Initiative encourages girls to pursue careers in STEM fields
Newark, N.J. – On Friday, December 5, 2014, Newark Public Schools (NPS) Assistant Superintendent Dr. Peter Turnamian joined Samsung Executive Vice President, Dr. David Steel, United States Senator Cory A. Booker, parents, students, teachers and administrators at Peshine Avenue Elementary School to celebrate the $50,000 technology grant provided by Samsung to increase access to tools for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) learning.
The school was selected as the recipient for the donation following the completion of the pilot program, emPOWER Tomorrow. This program is aimed to inspire 4th and 5th grade girls to pursue careers in engineering and computer science by introducing them to the people, technologies and processes behind software and hardware in their everyday lives.
“Our challenge as educators is to encourage and empower students’ natural human curiosity and creativity while helping them develop the skills they’ll need in the workplaces of the future,” said Assistant Superintendent Peter Turnamian. “At Newark Public Schools, we stand committed to ensuring that our students are exposed to the latest technology and equipped with the 21st century skills. This generous grant from Samsung will help our students successfully compete in today’s global economy.”
In the increasingly global society, STEM education and the skills it develops will propel students toward success in college, careers and citizenship. Currently, there is an undeniable under representation of women in STEM fields; women make up 49% of the overall workforce, yet only account for 23% of the STEM workforce. Furthermore, almost all of the 30 fastest-growing occupations in the next decade will require at least some background in STEM.
Instilling the confidence in students that they can tackle the challenges presented by the Math and Science curriculum is half the battle. According to the National Science Foundation (NSF), research indicates that unless girls believe they can do Math and Science by 4th grade, they will never have the opportunity to enter the STEM pipeline.
NPS is proud to partner with Samsung and Discovery Education to ensure that female students from the City of Newark gain an interest in STEM education and understand the future opportunities associated with this field.
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