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Conference Empowers Educators, Students and Professionals to Advocate for STEM Curriculum

*Secretary Husted was honored to receive the Annual Public Service Award last evening from STEM Concept Science & Engineering.


For Immediate Release
March 21, 2014


Attendees reaffirm commitment to preparing students for careers in
science, technology, engineering and math 

(CLEVELAND, Ohio) – Recognizing that today’s students are tomorrow’s engineers  and astrophysicists, hundreds of Ohio educators and students are gathering this week with leading scientists and researchers  to rally around the importance of STEM education in preparing students for careers in science, technology, engineering and math.  At the inaugural STEM Conference this week, experts and educators will share best practices, tools and resources and discuss both the challenges and opportunities of improving STEM curriculum and programming.

At today’s conference, educators and experts brought a wide spectrum of perspectives to discuss the success, barriers and solutions of bringing more robust STEM programming to schools. Among those who joined the conversation were Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, NASA Glenn Research Center Director James Free and University of Akron President Dr. Luis Proenza, who shared their personal experiences and perspectives on STEM-related careers and the training required for them.

Tomorrow the conference concludes with the annual Concept Science and Engineering Fair that celebrates the scientific achievements of more than 500 students from around the state.

“The future is bright for STEM sectors, but too many students do not have a strong enough foundation in STEM subjects to step into these careers,” said Sedat Duman, President and CEO of Concept Schools, host of STEM Conference.  “We hope that educators will be able to take best practices and learnings from this year’s STEM Conference back into their classrooms and begin to implement strong STEM programs in their schools.”

Concept Schools is a Midwest charter school network focused on STEM education and advancing STEM awareness at local and national levels. Concept Schools regularly brings together business, academic and government experts to generate excitement around preparing students for a future in STEM careers. STEM Conference has given educators and students the resources they need to be advocates for these vital subjects.

“The scientists, engineers and astronauts of tomorrow are pursing STEM studies today,” said keynote speaker James Free, Director of NASA’s John H. Glenn Research Center.  “We continue to support the United States educators who play a key role in preparing, inspiring and nurturing the high-tech workforce of the future.”

“STEM education must be a critical component of Ohio’s strategy to adapt to an increasingly global and automated society,” said Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, a keynote speaker at the conference and the recipient of this year’s Public Service Award. “By giving our young people the knowledge and critical thinking skills they will need to fill the jobs of the future, we will attract more companies and jobs, and provide our children the best chance at living a successful and fulfilling life in Ohio.”

Throughout the conference so far, educators have heard from STEM leaders, and through panel discussions and breakout sessions, have shared and developed best practices for engaging more students in STEM subjects.

"Just as our generation needed to become computer literate, today’s students must become innovation literate,” said Dr. Luis M. Proenza, President of the University of Akron, keynote speaker, panelist and recipient of the Outstanding Service Award at this year’s conference. “Future generations must see the innovation process as an inherent part of everyday life. It is not enough for young people to engage in STEM careers with the intent of making new discoveries or improving upon existing knowledge or technologies: we also must instill in them a desire to see those innovations flourish in the marketplace.”

The conference, held at the Cleveland Convention Center, continues tomorrow with the Concept Science and Engineering Fair (CONSEF). Presentations begin at 11 a.m. with an award ceremony starting at
2 p.m.

About Concept Schools
Concept Schools is a management company that reshapes K-12 education through the use of the Concept Schools Design. Their mission is to create or help to create effective schools with the common goal of exceptional student learning through clearly defined standards, innovative school designs and educational approaches. Concept Schools has 30 schools in 7 states across the Midwest. For more information, visit .


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