Aurora University is taking a stand for STEM – science, technology, engineering, and math. A new school being planned will cost $12 million, $7 million of which has been raised. The rest would come from the state, if AU leaders have their way.
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“One of our goals is to intervene with children before they check out of math and science, so this is a very early program targeting elementary and middle schoolers,” said Rebecca Sherrick, president of Aurora University. STEM will teach about 200 students in grades 3 through 8, from the Aurora East, Aurora West, Indian Prairie and Oswego school districts.
Cynthia Latimer, assistant superintendent for teaching and learning for School District 129 in Aurora, said that students who still go to the public schools will benefit from the STEM program. "We are very fortunate that Aurora University is already offering many opportunities for professional development in the STEM areas for our teachers. There are workshops and degrees,” Latimer said. Lisa Pena, a sixth-grade science teacher in Aurora, has gone through STEM training with Aurora University. “Going back into my home school, the content that I deliver is much richer, much deeper,” Pena said. “The students get very excited, very interested in that.”