LETTER: Open house showed enthusiasm for STEM programs and equipment

To the editor:

I would like to congratulate Superintendent Judy Pastel, her administration and the teachers and students of the Skaneateles School District for a fabulous STEMAhead Open House at Waterman School last week.  What I saw and felt amongst all the exhibitors — teachers and students alike — was a boundless enthusiasm for this new emphasis on STEM education and the way it has been expressed in programming and facilities and equipment. While I am not sure where the district was a year ago before the start of this initiative, what is in place today seems well ahead of what we could have reasonably expected.

I won’t forget the two young fifth grade ladies who demonstrated in such an articulate and compelling way the function and capabilities of the HAIKU software, and their enthusiasm for what it would do for both their learning and enjoyment. Nor will I forget the joy of my second grade grandson and his classmates experimenting with the effects of wind via whistles and windmills. I could go on and on, but clearly last night demonstrated to me that we have a real chance of bending the curve of attitude, aptitude and accomplishments with respect to STEM education amongst primary and middle schoolers.

Elsa and I are proud to be partnering with the Skaneateles Central School District, the Skaneateles Education Foundation and the professional educators of our community to brighten the future of our grandchildren and their classmates, and look forward to deepening our collective commitment to excellence in STEM education in the years to come.

Peter H. Soderberg

The Elsa and Peter Soderberg Charitable Foundation Inc.

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