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New Hampshire Governor Supports PLTW Educators

Concord, New Hampshire (Jan. 9, 2015) – New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan provided a warm welcome Friday morning to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) educators who were gathered at New Hampshire Technical Institute (NHTI) for the annual Project Lead The Way (PLTW) state conference.

"As the speed of change has made clear, if we do not adjust the way we teach STEM, we won't be able to keep up,” Gov. Hassan said. “We need to be thinking differently of what the 21st century economy needs and demands of us."

More than 100 educators came from across the state, as well as from Vermont and Maine, for the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of PLTW’s hands-on curriculum and learn about how PLTW is preparing students for college and careers in STEM fields.

"This conference is extremely important to the tri-state area of New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine,” said Mary Laturnau, director of school engagement for PLTW. “It provides a fantastic opportunity for STEM educators to network with one another, as well as discover best practices for implementing a PLTW program, including scheduling and recognition opportunities.”

Across the tri-state region, STEM skills are in high demand. According to the April 2013 report "STEM in New Hampshire: A Labor Demand-Supply Analysis," STEM occupations are expected to grow 17.3 percent from 2010 to 2020, compared to 10.4 percent for non-STEM jobs. During this time, STEM occupations will account for 3,180 of the 22,759 projected annual job openings in New Hampshire, or about 14 percent. In Maine, current jobseekers outnumber online job postings 3 to 1. But for those with STEM skills, job postings outnumber the unemployed 3.3 to 1.[1]

"PLTW classes provide students with the opportunity to explore STEM fields, and therefore, get a better understanding of the career direction they may want to take," said Steve Caccia, NHTI vice president of student affairs.

Three former PLTW students affirmed that PLTW was instrumental in encouraging them to go into STEM fields. All three completed their education at the University of New Hampshire and are now employed as professional engineers. They said that PLTW prepared them for success both in college and their careers.

"It was a great day," stated Glade Montgomery, vice president of engagement for PLTW. "I was really impressed by the leadership and commitment of Gov. Hassan and the dedicated educators who participated in today's conference. I am looking forward to great things happening in New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont in the months and years to come.”

[1] Change the Equation. Maine Vital Signs.