OrthoWorx Executive Director Brad Bishop announced Monday night at the Warsaw Community School Corporation’s regular board meeting, that the organization would continue its partnership with WCS to expand and enhance the planned second year of operation of Washington Elementary’s S.T.E.M. Academy.
Washington S.T.E.M. – which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – was launched in 2012 with a state Innovation Grant. It will focus on topics and subjects related to orthopedics and the life sciences in the 2013-2014 school year.
In its first year, the academy’s curriculum related to the region’s lakes and streams. OrthoWorx will provide $112,000 in funding to support the S.T.E.M. coach position, additional teacher professional development, and equipment and supplies acquisition.
“We believe that expansion of S.T.E.M. in our region is absolutely vital to creating the workforce of the future for orthopedics, agriculture and other key industries in our region,” said Sheryl Conley, OrthoWorx CEO. “In addition, the talent being recruited to our area needs to be convinced that our local educational systems are committed to providing S.T.E.M. as part of a comprehensive offering.
“The Washington S.T.E.M. Academy is an important first step in building out our region’s capability in this area and its first year shows how much parents value S.T.E.M. and innovative learning models. One S.T.E.M. elementary school in our region is not sufficient, though. Our goal is to work with educators to see greater S.T.E.M. focus in all grades and in all schools.”
Formed in 2009 with initial funding from the Lilly Endowment, OrthoWorx is a non‐profit initiative that works strategically and collaboratively with the orthopedic industry and other stakeholders to ensure the Warsaw region continues to reap the social and economic benefits that derive from its position as The Orthopedic Capital of the World.®
“We appreciate OrthoWorx’s support as we work to continuously align our curricular educational offerings with the current and future needs of the community,” said Dr. Craig Hintz, superintendent of Warsaw Community Schools. “We have created the Washington S.T.E.M. curriculum around two very distinctive attributes of our region — our natural lakes and streams and our orthopedic medical device industry — and the response from our community and the staff at Washington has been tremendous. We look forward to working with OrthoWorx and the orthopedic industry to implement a world-class, one-of-a-kind curriculum for our students at Washington S.T.E.M.
“Moreover, we look forward to continuing the drive for greater levels of S.T.E.M.: focused educational opportunities throughout our school corporation.”