There is a big focus on science, technology, engineering and math and many schools are offering excellent STEM learning opportunities.

Excellent STEM Learning OpportunitiesSouth Butler County School District pilot a program that will give students STEM skills and eventually give them a chance to earn a living.

South Butler School Board on Wednesday is expected to approve a program that would allow a handful of Knoch High School students to take a second-semester course in conjunction with Penn United Technologies.

 Penn United Technologies is a high-precision metal manufacturer, to develop technological skills.

The 18-week course would include students taking an online course at the high school, using the school’s computer labs for training, completing assignments at home and traveling to Penn United in Winfield four times for one-day assessment programs at Penn United’s training center.

Students successfully completing the course will receive a half credit in technology at Knoch.

“We think it’s one of the best examples of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education,” said Assistant Superintendent Michael Leitera. “We’ll have six or seven students at first working and learning manufacturing skills.

“One goal is to allow them to have local employment as adults.”

Originally, it was expected to be a summer course for Knoch students, but Scott Covert of Penn United presented a program to the school board that would provide a one-semester, STEM-related course.

Covert and Knoch guidance counselors will meet in early January with prospective students to review the program and expectations.

Penn United was founded by Carl Jones, one of the school district’s founding fathers in 1956. His efforts helped bring about Knoch High School’s opening in 1958.