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CCTC recognized by state for STEM commitment

GETAWAY — Collins Career Technical Center has been recognized by the state of Ohio for its commitment to science, technology engineering and math education.

The Ohio Department of Education has formally recognized the STEM Academy of Lawrence County at CCTC as an Ohio STEM Center.

The STEM Academy opened at CCTC in 2015 and allows students to get dual credit in their junior and senior high school years in medical laboratory technology, exercise science, robotics technology and veterinary technology.

Superintendent Steve Dodgion said the school received the designation “because of the way we deliver our curriculum.”

Dodgion said courses through CCTC focus on “problem-based leaning.”

“That’s what matters to us,” he said. “We have a commitment to it.”

Dodgion said the designation of Ohio STEM Center is the first of its kind in the state, given to vocational schools committed to STEM education. The school had previously been designated as a STEM Academy, but the new recognition comes due to the curriculum being implemented school-wide.

“We’re the first to achieve that,” he said.

He said CCTC began this approach about six years ago.

“They’ve decided to recognize the work of my faculty,” he said.

Dodgion said this approach covers all the programs offered at CCTC, and includes the Project Lead the Way STEM education, which offers engineering and biomedical courses in six school districts in Lawrence County.

“That’s where it all started,” he said.

According to a letter the school received from Paolo DeMaria, the superintendent of public instruction for the Ohio Department of Education, “The STEM Academy of Lawrence County demonstrates exception STEM instructional practices in a joint vocational school setting.”

“The department will continue to work with the Ohio STEM Learning Network, joint vocational school districts and other career-technical education stakeholders to ensure all students have access to STEM and STEAM opportunities, regardless of school structure,” DeMaria wrote. “We look forward to collaborating with the STEM Academy of Lawrence County and Collins Career Technical Center in future efforts to recognize high-quality STEM instruction in Ohio joint vocational schools.”