Students in the Mount Sinai and Port Jefferson school districts will keep taking their talents to the next level.
Thanks to state Sen. Ken LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) securing more funding, the joint science, technology, engineering and math program will be staying around for another year.
LaValle got $25,000 for each district to continue its partnership with professors at Stony Brook University to further the students’ learning and better prepare them for the future.
“I think the world today and the jobs today are in the STEM areas,” he said. “So we want to make sure that they have a good running start so that they can, when they apply to college, have an easy transition.”
Port Jefferson superintendent, Ken Bossert, said he’s happy the senator has been a strong supporter of the program, and said that so far the partnership with the schools has gone seamlessly.
“I think it’s a tremendous opportunity for our students,” he said. “The program has been extremely well received and well attended. There’s been a good deal of collaboration and a good deal of learning is taking place. It’s given by Stony Brook professors and they use equipment in the labs and are exposed to higher levels of learning that we can’t replicate on the high school level.”
The Mount Sinai superintendent, Gordon Brosdal, said after meeting with the senator to discuss the future of the program, he found out that his district and Bossert’s would be able to receive the same amount of funding they’ve received the last three years, to be able to maintain it.
“I would like to praise Sen. LaValle for being on the ground floor of this program, encouraging and supporting those partnerships like the Mount Sinai-Port Jeff STEM project,” he said. “We’ll keep up the partnership. It’s very positive and he is very supportive.”
LaValle said he likes the enthusiasm for the program in both school districts.
“There’s interest — that’s why we’re going to continue it,” he said. “It’s popular with the administrators and, most importantly, with the students and their parents.”
Bossert appreciates the senator’s support.
“Without the grant money that Sen. LaValle has made available for us, we would’ve had a difficult time initiating any program like this,” he said. “I think it’s something that has gone very, very well and has the opportunity for even further growth, so I’m hoping that the positive trajectory continues.”