On Saturday, June 1st, the New Jersey STEM Pathways Network (NJSPN), along with several other New Jersey STEM leaders, traveled to Zhejiang, China to present on their innovative STEM education practices.
South Jersey’s Erica DeMichele, K-12 Supervisor for Delran Township Public Schools in Burlington County, was among leaders that participated in the Zhejiang–New Jersey STEM Innovation Education Forum. The event was organized by Kean University, which is based in Union, N.J., but maintains a campus in the Chinese city of Wenzhou.
At the forum, DeMichele was ecstatic to share what she and her peers have learned in their four-year STEM ecosystem journey. As one of several STEM leaders to present their education practices, she was excited to show her work and explain her methods to the people of Wenzhou.
“[The] Delran STEM Learning Ecosystem is improving student STEM learning, supporting innovative teaching, and increasing parent engagement in our district,” DeMichele said in a press release.
Approximately 400 Chinese officials and representatives, as well as Kean University administrators and staff were present at the Zhejiang–New Jersey STEM Innovation Education Forum.
“The Kean University leadership has seen the potential for collaboration in STEM with New Jersey K-12 leaders for some time now, so it was very exciting to see this come to realization,” Dean Keith Bostian of the New Jersey Center of Science, Technology, and Mathematics at Kean University said. “I am excited to continue to work with the New Jersey STEM Pathways Network and its ecosystems on the sister school program and see how we can benefit from this collaboration in the years to come.”
“We were truly honored that Kean University invited the NJSPN and the ecosystems to support its global reach in Wenzhou,” NJSPN Manager Kim Case said. “We were able to share with the Wenzhou-Kean University STEM Summit attendees the importance of developing a network that connects STEM stakeholders at the state-level and supports STEM learning outcomes being driven at the grassroots level by our ecosystems.”
Several New Jersey school district leaders also attended the Zhejiang–New Jersey STEM Innovation Education Forum with the NJSPN. There, they committed to the newly formed “Zhejiang Sister School Cooperation Program,” which will be a partnership between Zhejiang Provincial Department of Education, in Hangzhou, China, Wenzhou-Kean University, in Wenzhou, China, and Kean University, in Union, New Jersey. This new sister school program will continue into the 2019-2020 school year.
More information on the Zhejiang–New Jersey STEM Innovation Education Forum will be shared at the next NJSPN Quarterly Meeting which will be held on the morning of June 27th, at Delran High School. Those interested in attending that meeting may register online.