Ohio Declares STEM Education, Entrepreneurship Economic Cornerstones

Ohio Declares STEM Education, Entrepreneurship Economic Cornerstones

COLUMBUS - April 17, 2013 – State Representatives Marlene Anielski (R-Independence) and Mike Dovilla (R-Berea) announced the acceptance of their amendment to promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education in Ohio.

“Innovation and entrepreneurship are cornerstones of Ohio’s economy,” said Dovilla.  “Increasing our investment in and emphasis on STEM will enhance students’ preparation for higher education, lead to greater career opportunities in growing fields, and ensure a brighter future for our state.  I am pleased the Finance Committee has included this important provision in the state budget.”

Working in concert with the Ohio Board of Regents, a team of noted STEM advocates – including the Ohio Academy of Science, Entrepreneurial Engagement Ohio, and NorTech – has developed a pragmatic, grassroots plan that offers Ohio’s high school students a STEM Bridge to Ohio’s Innovation Economy of the Future.

“For the past two years, I have been working to advance STEM education for all children in our state,” said Anielski.  “I know that our children need access to a path which will prepare them for a bright future – a future here in Ohio with growing employment opportunities.  I believe our STEM amendment will assist our teachers and students in exploring these wonderful career possibilities.”

Students participate in the Ohio STEM Learning Network, sponsored by Battelle.

Students participate in the Ohio STEM Learning Network, sponsored by Battelle.

STEM advocates across Ohio praised the plan, which appropriates $5 million over two years to increase the pipeline of STEM graduates by developing regional STEM courses, creating a STEM mentoring network for student and teacher support, and developing a statewide STEM commercialization plan competition for students.

Dr. Lynn E. Elfner, Ohio Academy of Science CEO stated, “Funding for this program will accelerate STEM students toward entrepreneurial careers, essential components of an innovation economy.”

John Klipfell, Executive Director, Entrepreneurial Engagement Ohio, remarked, “We know Ohio’s economic development will stagnate without a constant flow of new ideas from our youth and our best and brightest minds will continue their exodus from Ohio.  The STEM initiative supported by Representatives Anielski and Dovilla will ensure a bright future for countless Ohio children.”

Johnathan M. Holifield, NorTech’s Vice President of Inclusive Competitiveness affirmed, “This potential game-changer for Ohio is an economic competitiveness imperative.  Ohio must cultivate a larger, more diverse and inclusive STEM pipeline to produce more job-creating entrepreneurs.  This program will accelerate those efforts.”

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