SCRA, with partners STEM Premier and SPARC, completed the first EDGE
Academy webinar last week in Charleston-area schools. EDGE Academies are
career-themed schools within area high schools. This is the pilot year
of the program that seeks to strengthen the future local workforce in
science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills.
STEM Premier was founded to break down geographic and economic barriers
facing America's next generation of STEM talent. Through a program
established with SCRA and software developer SPARC, STEM Premier
connects students and businesses in an online platform.
"The students were providing great feedback to the participating
companies during the presentation through the live chat," said STEM
Premier Co-Founder Casey Welch. "From a STEM Premier perspective, this
was a great example of corporations and students working together to
mutually benefit each other."
Sponsored by the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, EDGE has secured
26 businesses to partner with 7 EDGE Academies. The recent webinar was
designed to test and showcase a
multi-district/multi-school/multi-Academy Partner classroom activity.
During the webinar, students were introduced to project collaboration
concepts and real-world case studies such as the development of STEM
"Efforts to enhance and develop the technical and business capabilities
of our future workforce are truly important as we continue to build
South Carolina's Knowledge Economy," said SCRA CEO Bill Mahoney. "We are
delighted to work with this program that brings new perspective and
experience to our state's young people."
SCRA Technology Ventures helps innovative companies grow and develop new
technologies, creating jobs and advancing the Knowledge Economy
throughout South Carolina. This SCRA business sector provides support
and mentoring program to early stage, start-up technology companies
through its flagship SC Launch. Since 2006, SCRA has deployed over $79
million in funding and infrastructure to support over 280 high-tech,
early-stage enterprises and has directly invested nearly $18 million in
South Carolina start-ups, attracting over $260 million in private
investment. SCRA Technology Ventures also supports commercialization and
growth by facilitating the transfer of intellectual property and
accelerating the transition of inventions to the marketplace.
Multiple economic impact studies show SCRA's cumulative output on South
Carolina's economy to be over $15.3 billion, and that the company has
helped create approximately 15,000 technology-related jobs in the state,
with annual wages averaging between $55,000 and $77,000. For more
information, please visit www.scra.org
or follow SCRA on Twitter (@SCRAInnovation).
SPARC is a software product development company creating engaging,
forward-thinking technology while keeping Team Members at the core of
everything we do. With offices in Charleston, South Carolina and
Washington, D.C., SPARC provides software development services for the
government and commercial sectors, and develops commercial software
products for the executive leadership, human resources, big data
analytics, and mobile markets. In 2013, SPARC was ranked by Inc. 500 as
the 14th fastest-growing private company in the U.S. Come by for a tour
and see SPARC's award-winning culture for yourself, or learn more at www.sparcedge.com.
About EDGE Academies
Edge Academies are career-themed schools within high schools in which
the learning environment reflects the atmosphere and expectations of
college and careers in the 21st century. The three initial
areas of focus for EDGE Academies are health professions,
hospitality/culinary arts and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering,
These are the fastest growing industry sectors in the region over the
next ten years, and the broad Academy themes cover many areas of each
industry. For example, STEM may include computer programming as well as
information systems technology. As the initiative grows, additional
areas of study will be added. For more information visit https://www.charlestonchamber.net/edge-academies/.
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