The Central Coast STEM 2012 Annual Forum explores the state of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics teaching in the region on October 12

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Central Coast STEM 2012 Annual Forum, titled "Building Bridges in STEM," will take place on Friday, October 12 from 9 am – 4 pm at UC Santa Barbara's Corwin Pavilion. The event – sponsored by the Central Coast STEM Collaborative and hosted by UCSB's Gevirtz School – will explore the state of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties. Academic leaders from the region will make presentations, school and community programs will demonstrate current STEM programs, and Jeff Henley, Chairman of the Oracle Corporation, will deliver the keynote lunch talk.

The event is free and open to the public and press. Advance registration is required; please email Tara Schonhoff for information or to book a spot: tara@education.ucsb.edu. The program for the event is available at education.ucsb.edu/stem

"An event like this brings together all the shareholders – administrators, educators, researchers, leaders in business and non-profits – who must work together to create the best environment for STEM education," says Lilly Garcia, Director of STEM Outreach at the Gevirtz School. "The alliances strengthened by an event like this forum will lead to improved academic achievement, expanded post secondary preparation and access, and strengthen the career opportunities of students, especially those who are underserved or underrepresented."

Jeff Henley will give the talk "Building the Nation's STEM Workforce: Economic and Social Imperatives." Henley, Chairman of Oracle Corporation, has held this position since January 2004. Henley and his wife Judy announced a $50-million private donation to energy efficiency research and engineering programs at UCSB in May 2012. The Henleys also actively support a number of Santa Barbara organizations including United Boys and Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County, The Scholarship Foundation, Sansum Clinic, Cottage Hospital, and The Santa Barbara Bowl. They are particularly passionate about a four-year pilot program they've been funding called Hardy Brain Training, which started at Boys and Girls Clubs in Oxnard, then added Portland, Oregon, Santa Barbara County, and in the fall it starts in Coachella Valley with a goal to train 1,000 kids in 2013.

Central Coast STEM Collaborative is a network of families, educators, business professionals, and other community stakeholders invested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and achievement. The network is committed to enhancing and promoting STEM learning and developing career readiness by fostering the collective impact of local, state, and national affiliates. The Central Coast STEM Collaborative focuses on what Central Coast communities and businesses should and can do to bolster and enhance science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education in K-12 schools.

[Lilly Garcia is available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at 805 893 5789]