Hundreds of students and education supporters gathered at the Missouri Capital on March 4 to celebrate of the state’s growing math and science efforts. The 2015 Missouri STEM Day at the Capitol was held in the third floor rotunda with opening remarks from Dan Mehan, President of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce, Brian Crouse, executive director of the Missouri Mathematics and Science Coalition, Rep. Clem Smith, Sen. Wayne Wallingford and Dr. David Russell, Commissioner of the Missouri Department of Higher Education. Missouri STEM Day at the Capitol acknowledges and celebrates the contributions that Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics or STEM has on our day to day lives by showcasing the learning that occurs in K-12 schools and afterschool programs, as well as in higher education.
After the opening remarks, students from across Missouri displayed and demonstrated science projects and research. Throughout the course of the day they visited with legislators sharing their enthusiasm and love for learning math and science. Later in the day, students competed for The Capitol Cup in a FIRST Lego League Robotics Challenge.
“Missouri STEM Day is one of the most enjoyable events that happen during the legislative session. It showcases of some of our state’s brightest students and it’s a reminder of the importance that math and science education plays in developing Missouri’s students to be ready to compete globally for the jobs of tomorrow,” said Daniel P. Mehan, Missouri Chamber president and CEO. “We bring this to the capitol each year to help remind our policymakers about the amazing things happening in our classrooms. We want to ensure this work is not forgotten during the budget-making process.”
The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry is a strong supporter of science and math education in Missouri. Recently, the Missouri Chamber contracted with the Gallup organization in 2014 to survey business leaders on their needs. Only 15 percent of business owners agree that high schools are preparing students for the workforce. The Gallup survey was part of a 12-month effort by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry to produce a 15-year strategic plan for Missouri, called Missouri 2030: An Agenda to Lead. The goal of the plan is to empower Missouri employers with a long-term vision to make Missouri a global economic leader. To learn more about the plan, go to mo2030.com.