Governor Hassan Creates STEM Education Task Force


For Immediate Release
April 9, 2014

Communications Office

Governor Hassan Creates STEM Education Task Force
Issues Executive Order Bringing Together Diverse Stakeholders to Help Modernize STEM Education

CONCORD - Continuing her efforts to help students develop the skills and critical thinking needed for success in the innovation economy, Governor Maggie Hassan issued an Executive Order today creating the Governor’s Task Force on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education.

The Task Force brings together a diverse group of stakeholders from the education and business communities to make recommendations for modernizing STEM education in New Hampshire’s schools.

“To help young people develop the skills and innovative thinking needed for jobs that growing businesses are creating here in New Hampshire, we need to come together as a state to ask tough questions about how we can best educate our young people, especially in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math,” Governor Hassan said. “The members of this Task Force have a diverse background in teaching, school administration, higher education and business, including job creators and innovators in research and development. Their service will help our schools modernize STEM education, providing our young people with skills that our businesses believe in, our educators believe in, and our students and families believe in.”

The Governor’s Task Force includes members with relevant experience in STEM education in kindergarten through 12th grade, the Community College System of New Hampshire, the University System of New Hampshire, and New Hampshire’s private colleges and universities, as well as representatives from New Hampshire’s innovative businesses and a parent of three children who attend New Hampshire public schools.

The Task Force will be chaired by Dr. Ross Gittell, Chancellor of the Community College System of New Hampshire who is also the co-founder and co-director of the Green Launching Pad, an innovative business incubator that connects entrepreneurs and private industry with technical, scientific and business faculty and students throughout the state.

“For students to succeed, we must work together to strengthen education in the STEM fields,” Dr. Gittell said. “I applaud Governor Hassan for creating this Task Force, and I look forward to working with her and my fellow members to help modernize STEM education in our schools.”

Members will make recommendations to ensure that New Hampshire’s kindergarten through 12th grade STEM education is rigorous and extensive enough to prepare students to compete globally in today’s technology-driven society; examine New Hampshire’s existing science standards and science education practices and consider best science and education practices nationwide; examine New Hampshire’s existing math standards and requirements and consider whether mathematics requirements for high school graduation should be increased; examine current engineering and technology offerings and make recommendations for how to better integrate engineering and technology into existing school activities, how to provide academic pathways for students considering STEM careers and how to interest more students in STEM fields; consider whether improvements to other areas of the curricula, such as arts education, could improve students’ overall success; and identify barriers to implementing more rigorous STEM standards.

Other members are:

  • Dr. Brian Blake, Superintendent of Sanborn Regional School District and President-Elect of the New Hampshire Superintendents Association, representing the New Hampshire School Administrators Association;
  • Barbara Couch, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility at Hypertherm Inc. and a member of the state’s Advanced Manufacturing Education Advisory Council,

representing New Hampshire’s business community;

  • Joyce Craig, Manchester Alderman and mother of three children who attend Manchester public schools;
  • Susan D’Agostino, math professor at Southern New Hampshire University, representing New Hampshire’s private colleges and universities;
  • Robert Hallowell, member of the Nashua Board of Education and scientific researcher at MIT Lincoln Laboratory;
  • Mary Kate Hartwell, District Curriculum Coordinator for Raymond Schools, representing the New Hampshire Science Teachers Association;
  • Joseph J. Helble, Dean of the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College and a Professor of Engineering, representing New Hampshire’s private colleges and universities;
  • Caroline Herold, Middle Level Teacher at Lurgio Middle School in Bedford, representing the New Hampshire Teachers of Mathematics;
  • Jeremy Hitchock, CEO & Chairman of Dyn, representing New Hampshire’s business community;
  • Dean Kamen, New Hampshire entrepreneur, President of DEKA Research & Development and Founder of FIRST, representing New Hampshire’s business community;
  • Todd Lamarque, Principal at Lancaster Elementary School and former chair of the science department at Gorham Middle High School, representing the New Hampshire Association of School Principals;
  • Paul Leather, Deputy Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Education, designee of Department of Education Commissioner Virginia Barry;
  • Dr. Palligarnai Vasudevan, Professor of Chemical Engineering and the Interim Senior Vice Provost at UNH, representing the University System of New Hampshire.

The New Hampshire Department of Education will provide administrative support to the task force and will soon be announcing the first meeting.

Full text of the Governor’s Executive Order