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LTU hosts Nov. 19 Microsoft YouthSpark STEM education event

Release Date: November 14, 2013

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – Detroit area civic and business leaders will meet at Lawrence Technological University on Tuesday, Nov. 19, to discuss ways to get more young people involved and active in the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in order to take advantage of thousands of unfilled jobs in the American economy.

The free program will be held from 7:50-10 a.m. in the UTLC gallery on LTU’s campus at 21000 West 10 Mile Road in Southfield. For registration and information, go to www.rsvpportal.com/microsoft/youthsparkconnections/FY14/detroit.html

LTU has historically focused on STEM disciplines, and next year will break ground on a new building that will include the new Richard E. Marburger STEM Center.

According to research by the Brookings Institution, many young people struggle to find work in the U.S. labor force at a time when thousands of positions remain unoccupied because not enough job applicants have an adequate educational foundation in the STEM fields.

Microsoft, in collaboration with the Brookings Institution and the Detroit Regional Chamber, is exploring this urgent condition in series of events called Microsoft YouthSpark Connections. Civic leaders are examining the most current research on youth, education, and the opportunities to better meet the requirements of the labor market through education. Prominent leaders from Detroit education, government, and the civic community will share their insights at the Nov. 19 event.

Detroit Free Press business columnist Tom Walsh will moderate the program. Participants will include Skillman Foundation CEO Tonya Allen; City Year Detroit Executive Director Penny Bailer; John Fikany, general manager, Heartland District, Microsoft; Byron Garrett, director, Innovative Schools, Microsoft; Shelley Stern Grach, director, Citizenship and Public Affairs, Central Region, Microsoft; Link Howard, president and CEO, Powerlink; and Martha Ross, fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program, Brookings Institution.

The presentations and panel discussions will address key issues such as:
• What is the role of education in preparing students for careers?
• How can we guarantee the education we deliver creates tangible benefits for our students?
• How can students position themselves through education to meet the demands of the labor market?
• How will higher education be affected by growth and evolution in the STEM fields over the coming decade?
• How can we equip educators with innovative teaching tools?


Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Management. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 7 percent of universities for return on undergraduate tuition investment, and highest in the Detroit metropolitan area. Lawrence Tech is also listed in the top tier of Midwestern universities by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review. Students benefit from small class sizes and experienced faculty who provide a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 102-acre campus include over 60 student clubs and organizations and a growing roster of NAIA varsity sports.