The tools for success


— Yet another facet of the Cazenovia Central School District has been recognized for its excellence on a national level.

Members of the high school technology department were recently given a commemorative plaque, after having been named as one of Project Lead The Way’s 16 nationwide “Model Schools” for the 2010-11 school year. The department was recognized for its successful implementation of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curriculum, as well as the PLTW Pre-Engineering Program.

With the Cazenovia Academic Decathlon Team claiming top honors at the state competition, and placing 25th in the United States, it is apparent the district is just as capable of producing intellectual thinkers as it is producing star athletes.

President Barack Obama has discussed the importance of STEM education and its role in determining the nation’s future economy. During last year’s State of the Union Address, Obama stressed the significance of equipping youth with the proper tools for success.

“Over the next 10 years, nearly half of all new jobs will require education that goes beyond a high school education. And yet, as many as a quarter of our students aren’t even finishing high school. The quality of our math and science education lags behind many other nations,” Obama said. “We need to teach our kids that it’s not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair.”

His sentiments were reiterated this past January, during the 2012 State of the Union Address.

“I also hear from many business leaders who want to hire in the U.S. but can’t find workers with the right skills. Growing industries in science and technology have twice as many openings as we have workers who can do the job,” Obama said. “Think about that — openings at a time when millions of Americans are looking for work. It’s inexcusable. And we know how to fix it.”

Cazenovia High School Technology Department Leader Chris Hurd said almost every other state in the U.S. has adopted STEM initiatives into schools’ curricula, but New York state educators struggle to find support for these programs. These classes do not consist of material that makes students wonder “when will I ever need to know this?” These classes give students the tools necessary for a rewarding career and prosperous life.

CCSD is lucky to have forward-thinking educators helping youth to better grasp STEM curriculum. For more information on the district’s thriving technology department, visit caz.cnyric.org.

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