A $3.5 million investment will help build a new school for the sciences in Illinois. Gov. Pat Quinn announced the government contribution to the John C. Dunham STEM Academy at Aurora University in Aurora on Friday. The university has already secured another $7 million in private funds.

STEM stands for “science, technology, engineering, and math”. The school will serve approximately 200 students in grades three through eight in four nearby public school districts (Aurora East, Aurora West, Indian Prarie, and Oswego. The governor believes these skills will help prepare students for college, as well as open up job opportunities in new fields.


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"I can just see that STEM education plays a great role in having a sustained society that focuses on energy efficiency and renewable energy and water conservation," Quinn said. "These are all the things we have to do to really be better, to make our society even better. That's what Americans have always done.”

The investment means construction of the school will begin immediately. It’s expected to open by the fall of 2014.

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