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Legislature appropriates $10M for STEM education

By Nadine Wimmer | Posted - Mar 29th, 2013 @ 5:15pm


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SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah legislature has granted $10 million to further the science, technology, engineering and math education, or STEM, throughout the state in an effort to prepare Utah students for high-tech careers.

Students at Granite School District's Institute of Technology have learned the importance of science and technology to help them find future careers.

"The business world is kind of competitive and I wanted to have a little edge over other people to be successful, so I thought, 'Why not come here?' " said sophomore Aline Bustios about the Institute of Technology.

Students receive hands-on experience with professional tools and learn about career options. Legislators wanted to bring attention to different learning opportunities like the Institute of Technology across the state.

"Science has always come naturally to me," Bustios said. "Math is a little bit more of a challenge, but I'm good at it. I don't like it."

Currently, one-third of Utah college students are required to take remedial math, but because remediation costs time and money, 25 percent of students who take a remedial course never graduate.

The high rate of college drop-outs caused Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and the Office of Economic Development to create a forum to discuss the best teaching methods for science, technology, engineering and math.

"I think the more really hands-on things that students get a chance to do, the more active they are, the better they learn," said engineering teacher Paul Fowkes.

Thousands of high-tech jobs are currently available across the state, and legislators said they hope that by funding this initiative, students and parents will understand that STEM education will open up future careers.

In future years, $1.5 million will be used to fund the STEM Action Center.

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