HAMDEN – The State Bond Commission last week approved $500,000 in funding for a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Academy at Hamden High School.
The money will be used to renovate classrooms into “technologically advanced classrooms with electrical and telecommunications updates, building modifications, the purchase of specialized lab tables, biomedical and engineering core technologies and equipment, high capacity computers, printers and interactive displays.
“This project stands to have a lasting impact on Hamden’s students and our community,” said state Rep. Michael D’Agostino, D-91, a former Hamden Board of Education member and chairman. “Not only will these funds help enrich our children’s education, but it will help us create a highly-skilled workforce and better prepare our students for an entry-level career following their high school graduation.”
D’Agostino worked for the past two years to get the funding for the program to create the academy at the high school. While the school has worked to improve STEM offerings, its infrastructure “limits its ability to provide students with extensive, career-focused STEM learning opportunities,” town officials said in a release.
The program will have two divisions – Health Science, which will include courses and experiences that help students develop skills needed for success in health care occupations, and High Tech, which will “provide students with the opportunity to develop skills in the engineering, manufacturing and computer science fields.”
“We could not be more pleased with the state of Connecticut bond funds awarded to Hamden for the STEM Academy at Hamden High School,” said Superintendent of Schools Jody Goeler. “With these funds, Hamden will be able to initiate programs that aim to inspire our students to pursue STEM fields and related careers.
“Students will be able to participate in programs of study related to engineering, manufacturing, health care and more, preparing them for success in additional studies or as skilled workers in the Connecticut workforce,” he said.
“This project would not have been made possible without Superintendent of Schools Jody Ian Goeler, Karen Kaplan, director of program innovation, technology and communications, the Hamden Board of Education, and the efforts of state Rep. Patricia Billie Miller, chairwoman of the bonding subcommittee for Finance, Revenue and Bonding at the legislature,” D’Agostino said.
The goal of the academy is to prepare students for the workforce, Goeler said.
“Our STEM Academy will allow students to learn skills needed for industry certifications while providing opportunities to earn high school and college credit, making higher education more attainable and affordable for our families,” he said. “The STEM Academy at Hamden High will be a vital asset to our school and community.”