July 22, 2024

Volvo makes big investment in STEM education

Volvo makes big investment in STEM education

PULASKI, Va. (WDBJ/Pulaski County Release) – Volvo Trucks has partnered with the Pulaski County Board of Supervisors to provide a $24,000 gift to the new Pulaski County Middle School.

The gift is for the school to buy teaching equipment and technology to further outfit the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and Technology Lab at the school.

“Investing in the development of a STEM lab at the new Pulaski County Middle School is more than a corporate commitment; it is an investment in the students and in new technologies and career pathways right here in Pulaski County,” said Franky Marchand, Vice President and General Manager of the Volvo Trucks New River Valley Plant. “Our desire is to energize the creativity of today’s students in a STEM lab environment within the Middle School. We believe engaging scientific discovery with increased technological knowledge will lead to advantages in the student’s lives and in their future careers. We are excited to be involved with the County in this STEM and Technology Lab project.”

“Volvo’s generosity and partnership with the Board of Supervisors will help accelerate the availability of the latest teaching technologies in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fields for our middle school-aged students who may be at the critical crossroad of interest in pursuing a future in STEM,” said Jonathan D. Sweet, County Administrator. “Having a well-equipped state-of-the-art technology lab within our middle school significantly enhances the experiential learning opportunities for our students and provides a foundation of understanding, appreciation and enjoyment for STEM subjects that will give our Pulaski County students a head start in preparing for the 21st century jobs of the future. We are thankful Volvo is willing to help us make such a meaningful investment in our children’s education and further demonstrate their sincere commitment to our community.”

Heather Arnold, a Tech Education teacher at the school says that, learning this kind of technology is more important than ever as things have evolved because of the pandemic.

“We’ve really moved to a technologically based system, and these are systems that are not going away anytime soon. It’s very important that they have access to this as young as possible so they can be more acclimated to the new working world,” she explains.

Pulaski County Public Schools provides qualifying high school students, through its STEM Academy, several career pathways, according to the school district: Engineering and Technology, Production, Therapeutic Services, Construction, Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security.

The district says, “Student learning and achievement are enhanced through the integration of core academics, a STEM-focused curriculum, applied technology, and increased participation in career and technical student organization leadership events. The overall goals of the Pulaski County STEM Academy are to provide students with 21st century, STEM-enriched technological skills and the knowledge necessary to succeed in postsecondary education and in the world of work. The Pulaski County STEM Academy is designed to give students in grades nine through twelve the opportunity to explore several career paths while incorporating Virginia’s Workplace Readiness Skills for the Commonwealth.

“One of the bright spots of being an educator in Pulaski County is the support we receive from our local industries,” said Megan Atkinson, Director of CTE, Pulaski County Public Schools. “Each year, our industry and community partners find ways to support student learning in creative ways. Today we are celebrating one of these partnerships with a donation to our PCMS Robotics Lab. We plan to purchase robotics kits so that every Tech Ed student gets a chance to work on a developmentally appropriate robotic system. As they transition from 6th to7th and on to 8th grade, they’ll be challenged with a new experience that develops critical thinking, creative thinking and problem solving. We are so grateful for our community partners and their dedication to the future workforce of Pulaski County.”

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