STEM education is strengthening the local talent pool for employers in Michigan, encouraging the success of STEM math programs in middle schools.

STEM Education is Strengthening the Local Talent Pool For EmployersIn Bay City, When Matt Felan speaks with executives about bringing their business to the Great Lakes Bay Region, their first question isn’t about infrastructure or tax abatements.

“The first thing they ask about is talent,” said Felan, chief executive of the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance. “They want to know what we are doing to invest in this region to build our talent pipeline.”

The mid-Michigan regaional talent pool is being strengthened by STEM courses and programs that are improving test scores of middle school students and improving the outlook for the future.

For starters, eleven and twelve year olds who test below grade level in math are given opportunities to work on laptops, adding fractions and calculating area of shapes in a virtual world. The virtual curriculum is haighly visual, unlike the typical textbook.

They work with a game-bassed curriculum, figuring out fraction sums, and representing them in a rectangle. They use software called Spatial-Temporal (ST) Math, an intervention tool designed to bring them up to grade level.

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