The Davie County NCSTEM Community Collaborative kick-off on Monday, September 28th was a dynamic, high energy event attended by over 400 engaged Davie County citizens. Dynamic speakers challenged community leaders, parents, teachers and students to collaborate on developing innovative solutions to the challenges of the 21st century in STEM education.
Larry Colbourne, President of the Mebane Charitable Foundation was the master of ceremonies for this kick-off event. During his opening remarks, Mr. Colbourne established a context for the activities of the evening: “We are here to engage, ask questions, and to be part of the vision for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education in our public school system.” Video of Mr. Colbourne’s opening remarks and of our 2 keynote speakers have been posted to your Davie County YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/daviecounty
The first keynote speaker was Dr. Anthony Atala, M.D., a pioneer of regenerative medicine, a practicing surgeon, and the Director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Dr. Atala leads a group of scientists who were the first in the world to successfully implant a laboratory grown organ into a human. His work was recognized as the number one science story of the year in the field of medicine by Discover Magazine. Dr. Atala presented a compelling story about the relevance of STEM education for the future of Davie County’s student population.
The next keynote speaker was Dr. John D. McConnell, M.D., the Chief Executive Officer of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. In addition to his role as CEO, Dr. McConnell is a practicing urologist, a noted researcher in the field of prostate disease, an engaging teacher, and a successful administrator. In his role as CEO, Dr. McConnell is a master collaborator.
Dr. McConnell declared that “There is a compelling business case for Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center to engage and promote science and math education in Davie County. With this community partnership with NCSTEM, generous support from the Gates Foundation, and a partnership with our Medical Center, Davie County can be successful, and no doubt will be successful, in preparing our students for a very bright future in this region.”
After the keynote events, attendees broke out into 6 separate working groups where community members worked together to describe the Davie County community vision for STEM education. Davie County citizens were highly engaged and discussions were thoughtful… and thought provoking. This community-based participation, collaboration and “visioning” is critical to the long term sustainability of the STEM education initiative in Davie County.
This was a great kick-off for a long term community collaborative effort and was entirely consistent with the theme for the evening; “Collaborate, Innovate, Educate.”
Look for more updates soon on the Davie County NCSTEM initiative. In the meantime, additional video footage from the kick-off event will continue to be posted on YOUR Davie County YouTube Channel.
We welcome your comments (see below).