This fall, when countless students ask what their algebra homework has to do with the real world, 50 more teachers will have an answer.
Those teachers, from more than 35 Charlotte-Mecklenburg middle and high schools, began a two-week program Monday learning how workers at local corporations use science, technology, engineering and math skills on the job.
The “STEMersion” program started in 2012, and has grown from working with about seven companies to partnering with about 20, said Sheralyn Fields, STEMersion project manager at Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools.
Fields said teachers tell her they love the hands-on experience, doing activities like identifying underground pipelines and detecting leaks with Piedmont Natural Gas on Tuesday.
“We want to make sure that it’s relevant to the content that they’re teaching,” she said.
Over the next two weeks, the teachers will also get tips on designing projects related to the work they see firsthand.
There were more than 8 million STEM jobs in 2013, making up 6.2 percent of the total U.S. employment, according to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
Fields said CMS wants students to be aware of STEM jobs in the area.
“We’re really making sure students are aware of the career opportunities that are available in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area,” she said.
An important part of the program is meeting with workers with different levels of education, whether they have high school diplomas or degrees from technical schools or four-year colleges.
“Just understanding the different paths and that (teachers are) able to explain those different paths to those students so they’re either college or career ready,” is valuable, Fields said.
The program’s host corporations include Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and Bosch.
Taylor: 704-358-5353; Twitter: @LangstonITaylor