Hancock Schools receives $18k MiSTEM grants

HOUGHTON COUNTY — The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity’s (LEO) MiSTEM Network on Tuesday announced grants totaling $237,640 to 13 K-12 institutions and organizations as part of an ongoing effort to create and bolster educational opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in communities throughout the state. Only two school districts in the Upper Peninsula were grant recipients: Hancock Public Schools and Adams Township Schools.

The Tuesday release from LEO states that Hancock School District was awarded$18,000 to develop and enhance curriculum that will build student STEM and STEAM competencies in successive grades to prepare them for opportunities with local manufacturer. The training will help cultivate a workforce pipeline that will support the growth of the community.

Hancock Superintendent Steve Patchin said the grant is to develop curriculum for our students in collaboration with Michigan Tech and Calumet Electronics.

“We will be developing k-12 grade by grade project based learning experiences,” said Patchin, “that will introduce them to the technologies involved in creating, producing, and programming printed circuit boards and computer chips. We believe this education/corporate team will lay the foundation of growth of this curriculum to support growth of local industry, while also helping support national defense initiatives centered around the high-tech industry, which Calumet Electronics is a ‘rising star’ in.”

“We’ve been working with Calumet Electronics for a while,” said Patchin, “and trying to figure out a partnership with Michigan Tech, and so we’re getting into manufacturing, we’re getting into fablabs, K-12 and we thought this could be a really good thing that could utilize all of it.”

Meredith LaBeau, Chief Technology Officer at Calumet Electronics, said that advanced electronics is making a comeback in the United States.

“We must look to the future for talent that can manufacture the next generation of circuit boards at Calumet Electronics,” LeBeau said. “This program will inspire young minds with advanced manufacturing concepts to light a spark that will ignite their future.”

LeBeau said that by introducing students of all ages to these concepts, Calumet Electronics can equip them with tools to become a generation of creative problem solvers.

“We are thrilled about the potential of this grant, and envision a model program that can prepare our workforce for advanced manufacturing and ensure a future of strong national defense and economic prosperity,” said LeBeau.


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