GREENE COUNTY, OH – Approximately 200 guests including students, educators and dignitaries gathered at Clark State’s Greene Center in Beavercreek Thursday evening, September 24th, to celebrate the grand opening of The Dayton Regional Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) School.
Already up and running, class actually went into session on August 17th and many of the students served as welcoming ambassadors to the visiting public. One of only 10 public STEM schools in Ohio, the facility currently has only a 9th grade level but officials plan to expand courses and curriculums at the earliest possible time.
The grand opening event was emceed by two students, Dalton Warner and Chelsea Bradshaw, who greeted the audience in Chinese. Warner and Bradshaw introduced each of the eleven guest speakers, including a video message from Senator Jon Husted.
According to the first speaker of the evening, Dr. Gregory Bernhardt, dean of the College of Education and Human Services at Wright State University, the mission of the school is an entirely new approach to education that is gaining support around the state.
Drawing from the school’s stated mission, Bernhardt told the crowd, “The people involved with creating this school set out to prepare students with the skills necessary to compete in the global economy while nurturing in our young people the same enthusiasm for discovery, invention and application that launched the vision for powered flight.” Bernhardt also serves as the president of the school’s governing board.
Other speakers included Wright State University President Dr. David Hopkins, Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Eric Fingerhut, Mills-Morgan/Synergy Chairman Bob Mills, Clark State Community College President Dr. Karen Rafinski. Ricardo Negron, chief of the domestic partnering branch of the Air Force Research Laboratory also took the podium.
“We’re here to enhance the experiences the students have in the learning environment,” Negron said. “By introducing them to professionals in the field, we can provide real world experiences that we have and help the students understand what we do.”
For this first year, there are 82 students enrolled to the faculty with 5 full-time academic teachers, 2 part-time Chinese teachers, a school counselor and the principal, Dr. Brian Boyd. The 26,000 square-foot takes up the second floor of the Clark State Greene Center and services are available to students from 30 districts in the counties of Greene, Montgomery and Clark.
Most of the speakers noted that STEM schools would become essential to Dayton’s future calling this facility a, “key to the region’s future.” The developers and planners of the school are not the only ones who think this kind of education is a good idea – the students agree with them.
Ceilidh Conway from Fairborn is a new student at The Dayton Regional STEM School this fall. “I really love the science and engineering class,” she said. “We get to solve problems on our own and we do a lot of hands on stuff.”
Her classmate, Evan Schulz of Beavercreek is also enjoying the new experience having come moved on to his freshman year from Ferguson Middle School. “I like that the school is small,” he noted. “We all have the same teachers and we get the really good, top-of-the line technology.”
For more information on The Dayton Regional STEM School, go online to www.daytonstemschool.org or call (937) 431-1837.