By Valerie Franchi, Contributing Writer
Marlborough – Massachusetts Secretary of Education Matthew Malone visited Marlborough High School Sept. 18 to congratulate the school for earning PTC’s Academy Champion award for its STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Early College High School.
PTC, a Needham-based technology solutions company, donated software and technical support to Marlborough High’s STEM program for students in eighth to 12th grade.
Malone sent greetings from Governor Deval Patrick and told the students: “It’s not STEM, it’s ‘steam.’”
He praised the school’s STEM program and PTC for their successful partnership.
“Until we are put into an environment where kids are allowed to express themselves and learn real world applications, we’re not learning,” he said.
He added that students are not done when they graduate from high school, and should use the training they learned in the workforce.
Mayor Arthur Vigeant also expressed admiration for the STEM program.
“Four years ago, we planted the seed and it has grown and bloomed into something really special for our community,” he said. “Our STEM program is second to none anywhere.”
Two MHS seniors spoke to the audience of teachers, students and officials about their experiences with the STEM program.
Jason Short explained how the technology available at the high school advanced through his five years in the program, from hand-drawing projects to using PTC-donated software and a 3D printer.
“It really prepared us for college and the real world,” he said, noting that he will be an engineering major when he attends college next fall.
Senior Kyle Hanlon agreed that he has “seen the program grow significantly” with more sophisticated software. With it, he and his classmates were able to design a proposed attraction for Disney World as a Disney Imagineer.
Following the presentation, Malone, Vigeant, Superintendent Richard Langlois and STEM Director Dan Riley, as well as PTC officials, cut the ribbon for a new display case in the school’s main foyer to showcase STEM activities.