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The Science Crisis

SOLD ON STEM

By Pamela Wheaton Shorr | August , 2006

In a testament to the power of partnerships, Metro High School in Columbus, Ohio, will open this month on the campus of the Ohio State University (OSU) with a focus on science, technology, engineering, and math, otherwise known as STEM subjects. The Educational Council, a consortium of 16 school districts in Franklin County, has joined forces with OSU and Battelle, a Columbus-based science and technology nonprofit, to develop the school.

“There has been a 30 percent reduction in students choosing a college major in STEM areas over the past 10 years,” says Marcy Raymond, the principal of the new school. Metro plans to renew interest in those subjects as well as prepare students for careers in those fields.

One hundred ninth graders will enter the public school this fall without having to pass an entrance exam. To make sure that each freshman has the skills to succeed at Metro, the partners collectively decided that all students will spend the first year completing two-hour blocks of math and reading/language arts.

Regardless of academic performance, each student will also start immediately on a college path, going to school on a trimester system, taking breaks when OSU is off, and even earning college credits as early as their freshmen year.

OSU’s College of Math and Physical Science plans to use Metro students for research into how kids learn physics—and Metro will use OSU facilities, labs, and professors for teaching its students. OSU and Battelle also plan to offer Metro kids the chance to work in real scientific labs as apprentice researchers.

About the Author

Pamela Wheaton Shorr is editor of The Heller Reports' Educational Sales and Marketing Insider, and is a frequent contributor to Scholastic Administr@tor.

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