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Ribbon Cutting Launches Kentucky STEMx Network

by Amanda Nelson

photo of STEMx Ribbon Cutting
UK College of Education Dean Mary John O’Hair (second from left) cuts the ribbon indicating the launch of the Kentucky STEMx Network. With O’Hair were Blake Hazelton (left), dean of the University of Louisville College of Education, and other state education and business leaders.

A ribbon cutting was held Friday, November 30, to officially mark the launch of Kentucky’s involvement in the STEMx Network created by the Battelle Memorial Institute, the world’s largest nonprofit research and development organization. The University of Kentucky College of Education’s Kentucky P20 Innovation Lab is facilitating the launch and year of planning with stakeholders around the Commonwealth.

Kentucky is among 16 states partnering with Battelle to create this national network dedicated to transforming science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in the United States and providing K-12 students with the necessary learning to productively join the future STEM workforce. The national STEMx network is a grassroots movement that provides an accessible platform to share, analyze and disseminate quality STEM tools to transform education, expand the number of STEM teachers, increase student achievement in STEM and grow tomorrow’s innovators.

“STEMx works by connecting preexisting Kentucky STEM education advocacy programs with one another. As a result, Kentucky STEMx is uniquely positioned to impact education at the ground-level,” UK College of Education Dean Mary John O’Hair said.

Kentucky STEMx is working to connect stakeholders from across K-12 and higher education, business, government, philanthropy and the community to impact STEM education and workforce development in Kentucky. Kentucky, like most states, has multiple STEM-related centers, institutes and programs, operating often in isolation.  Kentucky STEMx is designed to recognize the good work of these individual centers and organizations as well as connect them with each other to create a shared vision to ensure Kentucky students are prepared as critical thinkers, problem solvers, innovators, and collaborators to compete and succeed in the STEM-driven global economy.

“STEM education is foundational to the development of innovative technologies, products and processes, and ultimately, economic development for the Commonwealth,” said Paul Rooke, Lexmark International, Inc. chairman and chief executive officer. “I applaud UK, Battelle and all other organizations involved that are supporting this initiative.”

The new Kentucky STEMx network provides a comprehensive system of support for school districts participating in the UK College of Education’s Kentucky P20 Innovation Lab, providing them with the ability to share, analyze and disseminate quality STEM education ideas, tools and practices across the state and within a national network with the potential to reach millions of students.

“This initiative will enhance school districts’ ability to develop innovative ways to deliver instruction and ensure that Kentucky students are prepared for college and careers,” Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday said. “Through Kentucky STEMx, school officials will have improved access to the resources and networking capabilities that are vital to rethinking public education.”

Collectively, the Kentucky STEMx Network will advance STEM by:

  • Generating and sharing new knowledge of what works in STEM education;
  • Promoting clearly articulated indicators of quality;
  • Developing quality tools jointly;
  • Offering interactive, ongoing access to tools, exemplars and education stakeholders through an advanced technology platform; and
  • Connecting innovative policies and practices across the county.

More about STEMx:
Through its member states, STEMx reaches more than 6 million students nationwide, positioning the network as a powerful community through which effective STEM practices policy can spread.

STEMx is managed by Battelle, the world’s largest independent research and development organization. Battelle provides innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing needs through its four global businesses: Laboratory Management; National Security; Health and Life Sciences; and Energy, Environment and Material Sciences. It advances scientific discovery and application by conducting $6.5 billion in global R&D annually through contract research, laboratory management and technology commercialization. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Battelle oversees 22,000 employees in more than 130 locations worldwide, including eight national laboratories for which Battelle has a significant management role on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the United Kingdom.

Battelle also is one of the nation’s leading charitable trusts focusing on societal and economic impact and actively supporting and promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.