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East Lycoming’s STEM-business program shines

Imagine an East Lycoming School District student sitting in a problem-solving meeting with a local business, or working to improve its product or an advertisement of it.

Imagine no more. It’s a reality.

Michael Pawlik, East Lycoming School District superintendent, recently highlighted a new initiative for the school board in which students in the STEM program participate in a collaborative program with area businesses.

Students, primarily junior high age, are paired with a local business for 12 to 14 weeks.

During that time, they get to sit in on meetings, help solve problems, give opinions on issues related to that business and work with them collaboratively.

They have meetings with management, tour the business, pitch ideas and provide a fresh perspective for the business. The first business participating in the collaborative learning program is Lewis Lumber in Picture Rocks.

If there’s a down side to this, we can’t think of it.

The students get a view of the world they will one day be entering and a realistic look at what types of jobs are available locally.

We know one thing for sure. They will find out that businesses are not evil, heartless places and the people running them are not evil and heartless. That’s a myth advanced by far too many politicians for far too long.

For the most part, they are places of opportunity. And they are places where lifelong relationships are formed.

We hope all of the region’s school districts and businesses will explore programs such as this to break down the walls between business and education and give students real world opportunities.

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