AT&T Supports STEAM Opportunities for RCS Students

AT&T awarded the Rochester Community Schools Foundation with $10,000 to be used towards developing new science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) opportunities for students.

State Senator Marty Knollenberg and Representative Michael Webber joined AT&T Regional Director of External Affairs Lori Doughty, RCS Superintendent Robert Shaner, and district representatives to celebrate the new partnership at an awards ceremony on Friday, December 4.

“We are thankful for the efforts of Senator Knollenberg, Rep. Webber, and Allan Schneck [City of Rochester Hills public service director and parent in the community] for helping to connect AT&T with the RCS Foundation,” said Shaner. “Partnerships harness each groups’ energy to meet a common objective, which in this case, is to ensure student success.”

“I believe in our students.” said Schneck. “They are receiving an outstanding education in Rochester, but I always look for opportunities to partner with any entity that results in an enhancement of programs and services which benefit our children.”

One of the areas that the AT&T contribution will support is a career exploration exposition for high school students within the district.  The RCS PTA Council presented a STEAM career fair for the first time last year, where nearly 600 students and parents participated in the event. “Learning is a lifelong endeavor,” said RCS parent and avid PTA volunteer, Michelle Bueltel. “As students grow and their interests change, this expo can ensure they are well informed about available options to potentially pursue several STEAM career opportunities, said Bueltel.”

The next RCS STEAM career fair is scheduled for March 5, 2016.

Rep. Webber discussed the benefits of fostering an excitement in our students to pursue STEAM careers, and Sen. Knollenberg shared a personal experience. “I have been wearing hearing aids since I was three-years old,” said Knollenberg. “Because of the innovative technological advancements [in the circuitry], my system is more effective than ever before. This is just one example of how, by pursuing careers in STEAM, our students can really make a difference and better the lives of all people.”

The AT&T contribution will also support efforts to promote robotics at the Alternative Center for Education, a specialized school that helps struggling students to succeed.

“Robotics are a great way to stimulate students to pursue continued learning in STEAM careers,” said ACE Teacher Jeff Fosnaugh. “Robotics provide our students with a hands-on experience to not only learn about areas such as coding, but to also gain skills in task management and issue resolution. Students are given a problem, and they have to tap into their mathematical, artistic and engineering skills to solve the task.”

AT&T Michigan President Jim Murray said in a statement that the contribution shows his company’s commitment to helping schools across the country. “AT&T is honored to be able to invest in our students, particularly those students who may be at risk,” said Murray. “As an international company, we are counting on the students of today to be able to compete in the technologically-advanced, global environment of tomorrow.”

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