Osbourn High School (OHS) in Manassas has become the first Governor’s STEM Academy in the greater Prince William Area.
According to a release, there are only 23 of the Governor’s STEM Academies in Virginia.
“The STEM Academy will offer challenging academic and career and technical education programs that integrate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM),” stated a release.
OHS will enroll their first students into the academy this coming fall, with full program implementation slated for 2020.
“We are excited about the great opportunities the Academy will offer our students. This will be an incredible asset to our Career and Technical Education (CTE) program, giving students even more options when they graduate from high school,” stated new OHS Principal Joseph Gabalski in a release.
More on OHS and the STEM Academy, from a release:
The preparation for the STEM Academy has been a three-year process that included partnerships with leading industry professionals, non-profit organizations, local businesses, international corporations, government, and postsecondary institutions.
Susan McNamara joined the MCPS staff in 2016 to serve as Supervisor of K-12 Career and Technical Education and served as the lead facilitator for the STEM Academy application process. “Based on local needs and regional data, we worked with our advisory committee who selected the appropriate pathways to provide instruction and opportunities for students to graduate with high-demand credentials,” said McNamara. “Our objective is for students to be employed in high-skill, high-wage occupations, enter college with prerequisite skills for rigorous course work, and provide the workforce with qualified employees to fill high-need vacancies.”
Governor’s STEM Academies are designed to expand options for students to acquire literacy in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics while earning industry credentials required for high-demand, high-wage, and high-skill careers. Project-based learning, blended learning, and the use of technology create a rigorous curriculum. Program adaptation in grades 11-12 will incorporate work-based learning opportunities.
Three pathways have been identified which will serve the needs of the local and regional workforce: Engineering and Technology, Network Systems, and Facility and Mobile Equipment Maintenance. All career pathways will provide opportunities for hands-on and experiential learning. Project-based learning will be integrated into real-world experiences such as job shadowing and cooperative learning. This will create a career-focused program that incorporates local businesses and workplaces into student learning.
The STEM Academy will continue to build on and maximize the role of CTE instructional programs and how they assist in student retention, on-time graduation rates, and enrollment in postsecondary education with Northern Virginia Community College, George Mason University, and other institutions of higher learning.
“Having the support of our business community has been tremendous. We are so grateful for the amount of time and energy they gave to this body of work,” stated Manassas City Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Catherine Magouryk in a release.