In the future, Marshalltown High School will be known for more than their roundhouse. MHS has been recognized for their advancements in progressing the STEM initiative.
MHS Principal Addiy Phomvisay addressed the large crowd that gathered in the hallways of the high school and said the ribbon cutting and carnival was more than just a way to show off.
"It is a culmination of the hard work of the staff, leadership teams, and our community's efforts," Phomvisay says," to give our students the very best education possible."
Paul Gregory is the Vice President of Fisher Technologies based here in Marshalltown. He says that a STEM education is the best way to help improve our community and beyond, saying, "We can only be as strong as the educational system in this community. But, we are about making the world a better place."
By telling the story of Fisher's founder, Gregory was able to explain why knowledge in STEM fields can change the way our world works. But he does say that it is our community that's making the push to STEM initiatives that will make the biggest difference.
"In this community we are about a lot of things," Gregory explained, "We're about collaboration; we're about bringing everyone along in the educational world."
And coming from a student’s perspective, MHS senior Michael Bloom said that a STEM education was more than sitting in a classroom.
"Project Lead the Way is not about listening to lectures, taking notes, and then taking quizzes and tests." No, Bloom says, " It's an experiential learning."
Governor Branstad was in attendance as well to observe the work at the high school and says what MHS students are doing is important to the community, state, and nations future.
"It's critical to young people to have a bright future. So, they can get a good job that supports themselves and their families staying here in Iowa," Branstad says, "And that they have the knowledge and skills necessary."
After the official ceremony parents, friends, and community members then roamed the halls of the high school learning from students participating in Project Lead the Way and from local companies that practice STEM initiatives.
By the numbers in the High School's Project Lead the Way program:
- MHS Biomedical Program is the largest in the state
- 200 students are currently enrolled in the Biomedical Program and Project Lead the Way
- 46% of these students are female
- 53% are minority
The family of Verle and Ellen Hunt were also on hand to help present the school with a $100,000 check to help supports the school's efforts in promoting the STEM initiative.
--Article and Photos by KFJB Reporter Katherine Fritcke