Posted by Guest Contributor on December 5, 2012
As the Institute for Collaboration of Aurora University has moved our STEM initiative forward, we have greatly benefited from both the fiscal and programmatic support of our partners. Waste Management became our partner as a result of a newspaper article that reported Governor Quinn had signed the STEM Partnership School bill on the campus of Aurora University. Bill Schubert, Waste Management’s Director of Disposal Operations – Midwest, shares this story.
-Christine Crouch, Assistant Director of the Institute for Collaboration
By Guest Contributor, Bill Schubert, Waste Management’s Director of Disposal Operations – Midwest
My wife was reading the Daily Herald in July 2011 and spotted an article about the signing of the STEM Partnership School legislation. Sherry Eagle, the Executive Director of the Institute, was mentioned in the article, so I contacted her through Aurora University. As a professional engineer, I had an interest in improving STEM education and I understood the importance of reaching young students.
Sherry believes in this project and was willing to meet with me. I was impressed with the practical development of the project. Sherry was able to provide specific information about the goals for the John C. Dunham STEM Partnership School, the expected outcomes for the students, the strategies that would improve STEM education and how the work could be evaluated.
That meeting was about a year and a half ago. Since then, other engineers from Waste Management and I have been involved in the STEM initiatives at Aurora University. We have partnered with faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences, providing professional development in engineering education and applied mathematics education for area teachers. We also have developed classroom demonstration equipment for teaching renewable energy technology. We are participating in curriculum development for the STEM Partnership School, and in addition to this programmatic support, Waste Management also has provided financial support for constructing and equipping the school.
The leaders of this project communicate frequently with all of the participants to keep contributions relevant and focused on the desired outcomes. Our faith in the concept and trust in the community at large has resulted in Waste Management’s increased participation, support and creative contributions to the mission of the John C. Dunham STEM Partnership School.