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 GE, North Albany Academy and Chamber of Commerce Love SAM (Science and Math)

GE and North Albany Academy Love SAM (Science and Math)

Through a collaborative effort among General Electric, the Albany-Colonie Chamber of Commerce, and the Albany City School District, young students will benefit from enhanced science and math programs next year. The program, funded by GE, will provide first-grade teachers with additional tools and resources to spark an early love of learning in youngsters. 

GE Presents Love SAM (Science and Math) will begin in September with the incoming first-graders at North Albany Academy, and will expand each year until students in grades 1 through 4, and their teachers, have access to the enhanced learning opportunities. 

The program is the result of a collaborative effort between business and education leaders in the Capital Region who recognize the growing need for a more highly skilled work force to help expand New York’s Tech Valley. 

“An understanding of science and mathematics are critical skills in today’s high-tech world, and we are so pleased to be able to establish this initiative that will help excite students at a young age,” said Jan Smith, spokeswoman for GE. 

With a commitment of $125,000 in funding by GE, the Albany City School District is working with educational, business and technology experts to create a program that enhances the current curriculum with hands-on learning and high-tech tools. 

“By working with our first graders, and continuing on through fourth grade, we will reach students at an age where the right programs and environment can spark a lifelong interest in science and math,” said School Superintendent Dr. Eva Joseph. “With GE’s financial assistance, our teachers will be able to incorporate activities that few other school districts can offer.” 

Statistics show that science and math degrees among American college graduates are among the lowest of any nation, and many companies are struggling to find qualified candidates for critical, high-paying jobs, both in New York’s Tech Valley, and around the country. 

U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, in a February speech to business and education leaders, quoted from a study that showed 84 percent of middle school students would rather clean their rooms, take out the garbage, or go to the dentist than do their math homework. An interest in science is lacking as well. In 1975, the US ranked 3rd in the world in the percentage of students pursuing natural science and engineering degrees.  Now it is 17th. 

Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings said he was confident the program being developed will succeed. “As a former educator, I know our kids are ready to embrace new ideas and will excel when the best tools are provided to them. As mayor, I realize the critical and growing need for the best-educated work force to help grow the region’s economy and expand Tech Valley.” 

The Albany-Colonie Chamber of Commerce, a collaborative partner in the program, has been working to help schools prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s job market. If students’ current attitudes toward math and science continue, employers will suffer from an even greater lack of qualified high-tech job candidates than they already face today. 

In 2003, the Chamber launched its FAMtask initiative to bring key community and business leaders together to discuss, outline and address the challenge of attracting and retaining the talent that will establish Tech Valley as a world-class center for technology.  The Love SAM program is one such example of this dedication to our young students.

“It is absolutely crucial that our nation addresses the ‘quiet crisis’ that has swept through our schools and universities and takes the appropriate steps to reverse this educational decline,” said Chamber President Lyn Taylor. “The Love SAM program will proactively address these concerns by engaging students with innovative activities that will help make science and math come to life in the classroom.”

 

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