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Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul Touts Importance Of STEM Education In Saratoga Springs

Lucas Willard

New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul stopped in Saratoga Springs today to speak to educators and students about the importance of Science Technology Engineering and Math, or STEM, learning. 

Thursday’s event in Saratoga Springs is one three across the state, called Workforce 2025: Educators and Industry Leaders Working Together to Address the Middle-Level Skills Gap and Prepare New York’s Workforce of the Future.

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul spoke to the crowd about the state’s work to promote STEM education.

“We need to convince people that you don’t have to be afraid of technology, that this is an opportunity no matter what field you choose, because that is the future.”

She also made mention of New York’s Excelsior Scholarship program, which offers free in-state tuition for qualifying students.

According to Hochul, 65 percent of children in middle school today will end up in jobs that do not even exist yet.

“We need to be able to offer to employers a highly educated, skilled workforce and so many of the jobs of tomorrow come down to having skills in coding and engineering and technology and we want to just find ways to stimulate an excitement so young people will pursue this, particularly young women,” said Hochul.

Hochul took a photo and briefly spoke to students who came down from Beekmantown, in Clinton County.

“How was the presenting? Did it go well?”

Beekmantown Middle School Principal Amy Campbell traveled with her students to share some of the unique approaches her school takes regarding STEM.

“So this convening is about workforce development for 2025, or just into the future. And we are a project-based learning school in the middle school and we were invited to talk about our different way we approach our instructional design in the middle school,” said Campbell.

Now a 10th-grader, David Gagnon remembered one of his favorite assignments while in middle school.

“One that stands out to me in my mind is ‘Build a Better Beekmantown’ where we were given a piece of property and we had to change in to something we wanted to create,” said Gagnon. “ My group created a diner and then we had to create a 3D model and actually make that happen and figure out all the finances that were required with and all the information required to do it.”

Fellow sophomore Shania Rose was glad to see the lieutenant governor mention writing as an essential skill to develop, in addition to technical skills.

“Also her touch on young women joining careers that are pretty much predominantly male and stuff like that. Because I’ve that about going into careers that are predominantly male just to make my mark,” said Rose.

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget plan includes a series of proposals focused on young women, including closing the gender gap in STEM and providing mentoring and other leadership opportunities.

Lucas Willard is a reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011.
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