A new alliance of North Canton community members has formed, and its main mission is to help advance science, technology, engineering and math in North Canton City Schools.
Todd Alkire, STEM teacher at , spearheaded the group and hopes to gain more members to serve as not only mentors and coaches but general volunteers.
Experts in those specific fields would make great coaches, Alkire said. But even interested parents in other career fields are welcome to join because there are varying levels of committment.
"They don't necessarily have to be a robotics expert," he said.
The need for the group is great, considering the growing number of science, technology, engineering and mathemathics jobs in Northeast Ohio and the lack of professionals to fill those positions, Alkire said. STEM programs in middle school and high school open the door for students to get those jobs.
The group also will help fund STEM activities, which Alkire said are often expensive and difficult to do within a classroom setting. They'll fund the activities by securing grants and corporate funding. One goal is to start a FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) LEGO team, which costs about $500 a team.
Another goal of the group is to increase student interest in STEM areas.
"We want to increase the number of students taking and participating in STEM programs here at the middle school and at the high school," Alkire said. "And the sooner we start the students on that path, the better off we're going to be."
The group has met one time and is in the process of forming a steering committee. The next meeting takes place at 7 p.m. March 7 at the .
If interested in joining, or if you have questions about the group, get in touch with Alkire as soon as you can by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.