The Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette, Inc. (PIC) is working to develop and build two Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Centers located at Aliquippa School District. This is made possible through Governor Tom Wolf’s PAsmart Initiative and the PAsmart Advancing Computer Science and STEM Grant. The two STEM centers, one at Aliquippa Elementary School and one at Aliquippa Junior/Senior High School, will be in place and ready to use for the 2019-2020 School Year.
Aliquippa School District will utilize the STEM centers in conjunction with workforce development training through PIC to meet the needs of their students and to best prepare them for life post high school. Beaver County is currently in the process of rebuilding their economy through the development of the Pennsylvania Shell ethylene cracker plant as well as the industries that will follow. There are an estimated 7,400 new jobs that will be created from either the cracker plant directly or from the industries that will follow. The STEM centers at Aliquippa School District will work with PIC to align the workforce development training with the anticipated jobs that will be created within the area of the next 20 years.
Each of the STEM centers will include advanced technology equipment such as 3-D printers, robotics, drones, laptops and other necessary tools to complete STEM related activities as well as provide hands-on experience related to future careers in the region. The STEM and Computer Science curriculum will be integrated into school day for grades Kindergarten through 9th and a STEM elective will be offered for High School Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors. The STEM and Computer Science classes will not only include the traditional Science, Technology, Engineering and Math but will also include information and experiences with career pathways that are specific to job opportunities within the region.
These STEM centers will not only work to increase grades and test scores for the students at Aliquippa School District but will also best prepare their students for the unique workforce within their region.