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New initiative at Fitch focuses on STEM education

Groton — The town school district has a new partnership intended to bolster the science, technology, engineering and math program at Robert E. Fitch High School and encourage participation among students historically underrepresented in the STEM fields.

The two-year College Readiness Program through the National Math and Science Initiative will help provide professional development and networking opportunities for Advanced Placement teachers and support to students, according to the school district.

NMSI is a nonprofit whose mission is to "ensure all students, especially those furthest from opportunity, thrive and reach their highest potential as problem solvers and lifelong learners who pursue their passions and tackle the world's toughest challenges," according to its website.

The U.S. Department of Defense provides funding to the organization to bring NMSI programs to schools in military-connected communities, such as Groton, which is home to the Naval Submarine Base, according to Ed Veiga, senior director for government and corporate relations for NMSI.

Groton Superintendent Susan Austin said the program aligns with the district's overall goal to encourage more students and more diversity in the highest-powered courses.

"Teachers usually get trained when they take on an AP course but they haven’t always had the opportunity to have continuous improvement," she said, "and so I really wanted the highest quality professional learning possible for them so that they could differentiate instruction and so that when we get more kids and a more diverse population, they’ll be able to meet their needs."

Read more at The Day