Friday, June 2, 2023

Interim Report: Joint Committee on Education

The Joint Committee on Education met Tuesday morning.

The Committee was provided an update on CTEs. There are 121 high schools, 22 CTECs, and 7 multi-centers offering CTE courses in the state. Pilot programs are in place for dual-credit nursing pathways.

The Committee also heard about Plasma Games which is a 3-D learning platform that integrates chemistry learning standards. The creator designed the game because the US ranks 25th in science in the world. China alone graduates 20 times more engineers per year than the US. Chemistry-related jobs are at the top of job growth lists. In manufacturing, 95 percent of jobs are chemistry related. The top five highest-paying college majors are chemistry-based, yet less than 44 percent of students major in chemistry. The platform motivates and engages students to learn chemistry. It’s school friendly and allows students as young as seven to learn high school chemistry. Other states have seen the effectiveness of the platform. North Carolina has integrated Plasma Games for three years and North Carolina is in its second year.

The Committee heard about Learning Blades, which is a company working to provide STEM exposure to students as early as middle school. The company recommends introducing coding in middle school. The company has created a backpack app, which allows students to download courses at school and use them without the internet at home. The app contextualizes real-world careers and tasks and what education is needed to achieve these careers.

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