Sen. Proos applauds STEM regions and grants

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Senator John Proos

Senator John Proos

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. John Proos is applauding state grants to 16 regions that have been formed to develop community partnerships and strategies promoting science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and careers.

The Kalamazoo Regional Education Service Agency will serve as the fiscal agent for Barry, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and Van Buren counties. It is receiving $160,236 in state funding to develop a strategic plan that creates a robust regional STEM culture.

“I have long supported STEM education, because these rigorous areas of study are vital to the future of our state and nation,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “These grants will help improve STEM education in Southwest Michigan and statewide and promote innovation and collaboration in STEM so that we can best prepare students for careers in these critical fields.”

Last year, Proos was appointed to serve on the governor’s MiSTEM Advisory Council, which made recommendations on a statewide strategy for delivering STEM education-related opportunities to students. As a result of those recommendations, Michigan is working together with business, education and community partners to create a MiSTEM Network.

“It is an honor to serve on the MiSTEM Advisory Council as we help create a comprehensive STEM education plan that can help prepare all Michigan children for success and meet the skilled workforce needs of a growing economy,” Proos said. “The MiSTEM Network, the regions and the grants to support development of strategic plans are all positive steps toward ensuring every student is given the opportunity to be successful, obtain a well-paying job and achieve the American dream.”

Proos also applauded St. Joseph Public Schools on its recent announcement to build a 7,000-square-foot innovation center that will be used primarily for the district’s robotics program.

“This robotics center will be funded through donations and represents a tremendous local investment in STEM education,” Proos said. “It is also a great example of the efforts that local school districts are making to improve STEM opportunities throughout Michigan and provide more students with skills for a successful career.”

The MiSTEM Advisory Council listed four pillars as necessary components to establish a system that will produce STEM-equipped students and educators: create a STEM culture; empower STEM teachers; integrate business and education; and ensure high-quality STEM experiences.

The work of the MiSTEM Network is to build on existing STEM networks to create an ecosystem that supports and implements those components.


Editor’s note: Audio comments by Proos are available at www.SenatorJohnProos.comAudio.