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Gov. Whitmer Awards $2.7 Million to Expand Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Programs in Schools
March 14, 2022
Governor Gretchen Whitmer today announced that Kalamazoo RESA, Grand Valley State University and Washtenaw ISD will each receive about $900,000, or $2.7 million total, in funding to support the statewide K-12 expansion of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.
“STEM education opportunities are critical as we prepare young Michiganders for high-tech, high-skill careers that will serve as the backbone of Michigan’s economy,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “These investments are critical to ensure our schools have the funds to help each and every Michigander reach their full potential. And in my budget recommendation for next year, I have proposed the biggest per-student investment ever and $1 billion for school construction and renovation so we can keep funding and building more computer labs, classrooms, and science facilities to help our kids pursue their potential.”
Michigan has the potential to become a world leader in STEM education and careers, due to strong talent, educational institutions and thriving industries. According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, STEM careers had median wages in 2020 that were more than double that of non-STEM occupations. These careers are expected to grow at more than twice the rate of other occupations in the upcoming years. Michigan has the 4th largest engineering, design and development (EDD) workforce in the nation, with over 113,000 employed in related industries in 2020. Employment in EDD industries is almost twice as concentrated in Michigan as the national average.
“Exposure to engineering and technology changed my life, and I know the role it can play in sparking imagination and molding students into leaders,” said Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist. “Strong STEM experiences prepare students for the high-skilled jobs of the future and lay the foundation for prosperity in our communities. When we help our students explore the world of STEM, we make an investment that keeps Michigan at the forefront of scientific and technological advancement and builds on our state’s tradition of innovation. Governor Whitmer and I are grateful for the MiSTEM Advisory Council’s work to make a difference for our students and our economy.”
Approved by the Michigan STEM (MiSTEM) Advisory Council within the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) and administered by the Michigan Department of Education, the grants will be awarded to:
- Kalamazoo RESA to elevate mathematics as the language of STEM and provide a tool for STEM exploration;
- Grand Valley State University to expand access to, and highlight the importance of, high-quality computer science experiences; and
- Washtenaw ISD to ensure students have science and engineering literacy as a 21st century skill.
This year’s funding will support the continuation of educator and student STEM programs and convene key stakeholders to develop a four-year strategic plan that features innovative, sustainable and cost-effective statewide collaborations of diverse stakeholders.
“Regardless of their gender, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status, students need to consider the widest range of possibilities as careers, including STEM careers,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. “Expanding STEM education helps our children not only dream bigger but realize a wealth of career opportunities and how STEM education will help them achieve their dreams.”
“The MiSTEM Network continues to make tremendous strides in making STEM learning accessible for more students across Michigan,” said LEO Director Susan Corbin. “When more students have access to STEM curriculum, they gain the skills needed for high-demand, high-skilled careers of the future.”
The MiSTEM Advisory Council consists of business, higher education, K-12 education, and philanthropic leaders. It was created by the Michigan legislature in 2015 to make recommendations that will help the state become a world leader in STEM education.
For more information on the MiSTEM Advisory Council and the MiSTEM Network, visit Michigan.gov/MISTEM.