Proos: March 24-30 is STEM Awareness Week

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LANSING—The Michigan Senate recently adopted a resolution proclaiming March 24-30 as Michigan STEM Awareness Week, said Sen. John Proos, co-sponsor of the resolution.

“Every Southwest Michigan student deserves an education that prepares them for a successful career, and for many children that means a curriculum focused on science, technology, engineering and math,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “I recently hosted business owners and school officials from Southwest Michigan who discussed the critical nature of these four areas to the future of continued growth and prosperity in Michigan.

“As we work to make our state more competitive for new jobs, we must also ensure we effectively prepare students for success in a 21st century workplace.”

Last week, Proos hosted Matt Tyler, CEO of Vickers Engineering in Niles; Niles Community Schools Superintendent Richard Weigel; Niles Community Schools board member Jeff Curry; Niles Community Schools career and technical director Tom Hurst; and Niles New Tech Entrepreneurial Academy director Jerry Holtgren. The group joined Proos in urging the Senate Education Committee to support Senate Bill 66 to allow more flexibility in the high school curriculum for more career and technical education classes.

“Manufacturing is back in Michigan, and we need to be able to compete with states like Indiana and Kentucky,” Tyler said. “These are not ‘button-pusher’ jobs; these are careers in automation.”

Senate Resolution 23 states that an increased awareness of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and STEM-related careers will advance Michigan’s workforce.

“Engineering companies have mentioned that ‘mechatronics’ will be key to the future of Michigan’s manufacturing industry,” Proos said. “Mechatronics integrates mechanical, control, electrical and computer engineering to design an improved system that is more reliable and cost-effective. For Michigan to thrive in the new economy, it is important that we engage and teach students who are interested in this type of career. STEM education helps us achieve those goals.”

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Editor’s Note – Audio comments by Proos are available on the senator’s webpage at www.SenatorJohnProos.com. Click on “Podcasts.”

A print-quality photograph of Proos and Tyler is also available by visiting the senator’s webpage. Click on “Photowire.”

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