ROI adds 16 regional educators to STEM fellowship program

Total number grows to 80 STEM Fellows throughout 11-county region

ROI is pleased to announce the selection of the fourth cohort of STEM Fellows for the 2020-2021 school year. Sixteen K-6 educators from the Indiana Uplands region will spend a year developing teaching and leadership skills to advance science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) activities in classrooms and schools.

“With the addition of Cohort 4, the Indiana Uplands now has a network of 80 STEM Fellows working purposefully to embed STEM into the everyday learning experiences of our region’s elementary and middle school students,” said ROI President and CEO Tina Peterson.

“In the Indiana Uplands, we know that opportunities abound in the STEM disciplines,” added Peterson.  “Our local employers need a workforce equipped to excel in technology-enabled environments, in engineering-related fields, and in the sciences. We need to afford the students of today with every opportunity for success in the world of tomorrow.  ROI’s STEM Fellows are helping STEM come alive for students, empowering kids to explore everything STEM has to offer at an early age.  It’s a recipe for success that will benefit our children throughout their lives and serve our communities well as we seek to grow our high opportunity sectors in southwest central Indiana.”

The STEM Fellowship program equips educators with tools and resources to expand STEM programming. Fellows work to develop skills that will help them become STEM leaders within their schools, share learning with their colleagues, and encourage other teachers to integrate STEM into their curriculum. Working with ROI’s education team, fellows participate in ongoing professional development activities addressing a wide range of content, including project-based learning, computer science, meaningful use of makerspaces and technology, mathematics, automation, robotics, and connecting STEM to English and language arts. Fellows also receive guidance on how to effectively lead among their colleagues and encourage the integration of STEM across the instructional day. In light of the ongoing COVID19 pandemic, professional development sessions this year will also support the use of eLearning resources to maintain connections with students when in-person instruction is not possible.

ROI’s 2020-2021 STEM Fellows Cohort:

NameSchoolCounty
Lindsay BurchLoogootee ElementaryMartin
Michele BurtonBradie Shrum ElementaryWashington
Angie EarleWhite River Valley ElementaryGreene
Gina FussPatricksburg ElementaryOwen
Emily GaitherVan Buren ElementaryBrown
Brock HigginsBarr-Reeve ElementaryDaviess
Jayne JonesHelmsburg ElementaryBrown
Alison KernMitchell Junior HighLawrence
Cortney LannanLinton-Stockton ElementaryGreene
Jamee McMurrayHelen Griffith ElementaryDaviess
Lisa MihlfeldWhite River Valley MiddleGreene
Hali MurrayEastern Greene ElementaryGreene
Cory RayhillBarr-Reeve ElementaryDaviess
Whitney ReedBurris ElementaryLawrence
Ashley SmithOrleans ElementaryOrange
Paige WagnerUnionville ElementaryMonroe

STEM Fellows are Indiana Uplands elementary and middle school educators that are nominated by their school principals and selected by ROI. This cohort brings the total number of STEM Fellows to 80 educators in 53 schools in all 11 counties of the region.

The STEM Fellowship was developed in response to ROI’s Occupational Needs Assessment, which emphasizes the importance of having STEM-literate students to meet current and future workforce needs and to provide a basis for continued economic growth and prosperity in our region. Those findings underscore the urgent need for early intervention in STEM education to meet these goals. As part of their training, STEM Fellows learn about the Uplands’ three key employment sectors of advanced manufacturing, defense, and life sciences.  Interaction and collaboration with industry partners help Fellows to make meaningful, age-appropriate connections between content knowledge and future career paths for young students. Most professional development events feature employer and career showcases, and Fellows participate in tours of local industry and employment opportunities.

More information on STEM Fellows: https://regionalopportunityinc.org/stem-fellows/

Feature Video showcasing STEM Fellows & student experiences: https://youtu.be/xPhOQ41sOQA

About Regional Opportunity Initiatives, Inc.:

The mission of Regional Opportunity Initiatives (ROI) is to advance economic and community prosperity in the 11 counties of the Indiana Uplands (Brown, Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Orange, Owen and Washington counties). ROI is implementing education, workforce, and quality of place initiatives across the Uplands region.

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