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While the Coronavirus has made a victim of another public event for one Scotland County senior, she will still receive her day of recognition, not to mention a hefty scholarship check to boot.
Scotland County R-I graduating senior Katie Feeney was among 25 students across the state of Missouri to be honored as part of the 2020 STEM Signing Day, outstanding students from across the state were recognized for committing to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers.
The Missouri Chamber Foundation’s Mathematics and Science Coalition launched the Missouri STEM Signing Day program in 2019 to raise awareness of STEM pathways for students beyond high school. Just like signing days for athletes, Missouri STEM Signing Day celebrates Missouri high school seniors as they make their commitments to study a STEM field in 4-year or 2-year college or technical school. The program is a workforce development and STEM career awareness effort of the Missouri Chamber, driven by its 15-year strategic initiative Missouri 2030.
“Our society does a great job of celebrating student athletes. We think our high school STEM stars deserve the same recognition as their athlete peers,” said Daniel P. Mehan, Missouri Chamber president and CEO. “We are thrilled to see Missouri’s business and education communities come together at Missouri STEM Signing Day to support the STEM workforce of tomorrow. These ten high school graduates represent the best and brightest that Missouri has to offer, and we are proud to recognize them for choosing to pour their talent and passion into STEM career pathways.”
Whether they seek to work on some of the latest technologies in the manufacturing space by attending a Mechatronics or Advance Machining Technician program at a 2 year college or Technical school; or working on cutting edge bio-life science research to improve the quality of our lives by attending a Bio-Chem or Nursing program at a 4 year college — whatever their passion takes them in the STEM fields, Missouri STEM Signing Day is about them. This program recognizes outstanding students across the state who are inspired by STEM and dedicated to pursuing a STEM career pathway in postsecondary education and beyond, and raises awareness of companies in Missouri for future career opportunities that they and others can pursue.
With start-up funding contributed by The Boeing Company and supported by the Missouri business community, the program offers $1,000 scholarships to students to help them pursue their STEM education goals at a 2-year, 4-year or technical college of their choice. The funds are unrestricted to be used for tuition, living expenses, books or technology.
“At Boeing, we see firsthand the endless opportunities available to those with a STEM-focused skill set,” said John Frederick, Director of State and Local Government Relations at The Boeing Company. “It is our honor to recognize Missouri students committed to pursuing a career in STEM. The opportunity that follows them through their career will surely benefit Boeing and all Missourians alike.”
Feeney was originally scheduled to travel to Jefferson City on April 29th for the special signing ceremony to be held at the State Capitol. But the COVID19 pandemic has forced the cancelation of the public ceremony.
Instead, the STEM award recipients will take part in a virtual STEM Signing Day and Scholarship event that will feature video presentations by all 25 award winners as well special guest speakers and presenters.
“STEM careers continue to be a driving force of Missouri’s economy. We are proud to partner with The Boeing Company and the Missouri Chamber to recognize students devoted to pursuing these important programs of study,” said Zora Mulligan, commissioner of the Missouri Department of Higher Education. “Choosing STEM will give these students the skills and knowledge to fill a needed gap here at home, and prepare them to compete in a global marketplace.”