Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel with STEM representatives from Microsoft, IBM, Verizon, and Motorola at the opening of one school
The public school system in the greater Chicago-land area is about to undergo a transformation with the help of some of tech industries heavy-weight companies. Known as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), the project is a combined effort from companies such as Microsoft, Verizon, IBM and Motorola to help educate teachers as well as students in technology related fields. The city of Chicago plans on opening five separate 6-year high-schools around the metro area that will give students the knowledge and job qualifications needed for those respective companies.
Instead of the typical high school diploma following a traditional four year schooling, these students will receive an associate’s degree in the intended field they want to pursue. It does not stop there, as the students' will also receive a ‘first-in-line’ job interview, as well. The schools will educate roughly 1,090 kids from grades 9 through 14 (13 & 14 are college level) and will open this coming fall 2012. For more information visit the project's site: http://www.stemedcoalition.org/
Chicago is starting to become a nexus for technological experimentation. Chicago's tallest building, the Willis Tower, toys with going solar. The city is pushing for an extensive network of charging stations for electric vehicles. Although not directly in the city, Argonne National Laboratories is opening the world's largest alternative energy research facility.