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October 11, 2012

ONC BOCES receives major grant to launch STEM curriculum

The Scriven Foundation has awarded a $300,000 three-year grant to ONC BOCES to help fund science, technology, engineering and math education to meet students’ needs in the 21st century, according to a media release from ONC BOCES.

The focus of this grant is to assist with costs associated with developing new, high-tech programs for secondary students, the release stated.

“The Board of Directors at The Scriven Foundation is very pleased to support the advancement of secondary education in the ONC BOCES region. This grant will provide opportunities for students where they did not exist and provide access to college level course credits, advanced technology, and STEM programming,” Scriven Foundation president Jane Forbes Clark said in the release.

According to the release, over the course of nearly two years, ONC BOCES has been developing a pre-engineering program designed for senior high school students wishing to pursue post-secondary experiences in the diverse field of engineering. The pre-engineering program will encourage a problem solving, discovery, exploratory learning experience.

Students will benefit from program, which will encourage independent thought, innovation, and utilization of learned skills in a hands-on setting, the release stated.

With the support of 19 component school districts, ONC BOCES has developed curriculum, lesson plans, labs and an academic model to attract top performing students to the program, the release stated.

Students will receive college level instruction and credit in physics and calculus, in addition to high school credits in English language arts, economics and government. According to the release, the core of the program will be spent exploring advance content in design, manufacturing, nanotechnology, bioengineering, CAD, prototyping, robotics and green technologies. Civil, aerospace, architectural, chemical, electrical and mechanical engineering clusters will be explored.

“At the core of our program is the assistance of community and business leaders. Through its generous grant, The Scriven Foundation was instrumental in getting the program off the ground. Both The Scriven Foundation and its sister organization, The Clark Foundation, have demonstrated their continued commitment to support our local education system and students,” ONC BOCES Career and Technical Education director Joseph Booan said. “Local businesses were also part of the development process and will continue to support the project by providing feedback and support, and modify the program so it stays current with rapidly changing technology.”

Representatives from Raymond Corp., Unison, Amphenol, Agro-Farma, Unadilla Laboratories, and Covidien are part of an advisory team that will consult with instructional staff, make program recommendations, host educational field trips, and support internships as part of the experience.

The pre-engineering programs will be taught at the Northern Catskills Occupational Center in Grand Gorge and at the Otsego Area Occupational Center in Milford. Seniors from any of the 19 component may apply for entrance into the program.

Both instructors teaching the pre-engineering program are adjunct professors for Syracuse University and the State University College at Oneonta.

Students and parents wishing to obtain more information regarding the pre-engineering program, or any career and technical education program, may contact Booan at 286-7715.

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