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The Central Middle School Cafeteria was brimming with brainiacs on Thursday, March 12 as the Charlotte County Science-Technology-Engineering and Math Careers Committee (STEM) hosted a free catered dinner and special presentations for math students in grades 7-12 and their parents.
Students enrolled in Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry or Algebra Functions & Data Analysis during the fall and spring semesters of the 2014-15 school year were invited to attend. Guests were treated to a meal provided by Sheldon’s Restaurant as a show of gratitude for completing a survey titled “Math at Work in Our Community.” Additionally, there was opportunity to engage with community leaders and local businesses using math in their everyday professions. Businesses in attendance included Wayland Nursing and Rehabilitation, Southern Virginia Realtors, Red Oak Excavating, J.R. Tharpe Trucking Co. and River Community Bank. Each of these businesses set up a booth to explain to students and parents how important math is to their jobs. All businesses that attended are members of the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce. “I would like to thank everybody for coming out tonight. It’s important to see parents and students get involved in these programs and that’s what makes it successful,” said Beverly Fitz, Executive Director of the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce. “I’d also like to thank the STEM Committee for inviting the Chamber.”
For the past year, members of the Charlotte County STEM special event team have been planning the event to ensure its success. Team members include Jenni Booth, Lettie Fuller, Brent O’Brien, Darla Marks, Gloria Talbott and Chairperson Susan Adams. The special event team conducted a survey in conjunction with math teachers in the area, which required students to interview a community person about how they use math in their daily occupation. More than 175 students returned the surveys.
The “Math at Work in Our Community” event is a part of the Rural Math Excel Partnership (RMEP). According to their website, “RMEP is a US Department of Education i3 (Investing In Innovation) Development Project, one of only three in the nation funded in 2012 with a focus on rural needs. This $2.7 million dollar grant is a three-year program beginning January 2013, and ending September 2016. There are six rural school division partners, Cumberland, Prince Edward, Charlotte, Halifax, Henry County Public Schools and Martinsville City Public School. The innovation being developed is the creation of a shared responsibility model for student success in math. Shared responsibility means parents, teachers, and community-based organizations each perform specific functions to support student learning.”
The Charlotte County STEM Committee focuses on student success in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education.