YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A manufacturing mindset has always been a part of Youngstown and still is. And now there is also a big focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
A new STEM high school is opening in Youngstown at Youngstown State University, and it sits just 4 miles away from Chaney High School, where a new STEM program is already place that is enticing other students from the area with open enrollment.
Youngstown City Schools started the program at Chaney about four years ago and it has 250 students enrolled. Students start in sixth grade and by ninth grade, they decide what track they prefer.
“That pathway right now is engineering/manufacturing. It is a second pathway and then health and science,” said Pam Lubich, Chaney STEM Coordinator.
Just a few miles away, YSU is set to open a new STEM high school called Valley STEM + ME2 Academy.
“Talking with other superintendents we thought it would be really good to look at a STEM high school with knowing the state has a special designation just for STEM,” said ME2 Board President Vince Colaluca, who also is the superintendent of Austintown Local Schools. “Looking at what the Valley needs. Manufacturing has really blossomed in the Valley again and we talked to the owners of the companies and they have a shortage of workers and this would be a nice component for manufacturing.”
The school will be open to any student in Ohio and will be located on the second floor of Phelps Hall, which will go through a complete retro fit and is scheduled to open in August. The school is funded like a public school and no tuition is required.
“The only fees that are out-of-pocket would be the typical fees they would incur at any school district,” said Valley STEM Director Jason Braddock.
The curriculum is still being developed, but science, technology, mathematics and engineering will be the main focus. Other subjects will be incorporated, too.
Right now the school is only for ninth grade students, but it will expand to 10th grade next year. Students can still participate in sports and extracurriculars at the high school they would normally go to.
School officials at both Chaney and Valley STEM said it is all about providing opportunities for students.
Go to the website for more information on STEM + ME2 Academy. The deadline to register for this year is April 15.