West Virginia Executive Summer 2014 - Page 82

Microsoft IT Academy prepares educators and students with industry-recognized certifications and, through the WVDE, will be offered to students free of charge beginning in the fall. Students, teachers and support staff are eligible to earn Microsoft Office Specialist or Microsoft Technology Associate and Microsoft Certified Professional certifications through the program. “The West Virginia Department of Education is paving the path to a new way for its students to gain the technology skills needed to be better prepared for entering the work force and furthering their careers,” says Margo Day, vice president of U.S. Education at Microsoft. “The thoughtful and strategic work by the state to bring technology solutions and industry certification opportunities through IT Academy will result in more opportunities for students, lower program costs across the state and broader access for the schools and families in West Virginia.” According to an IDC study, more than 50 percent of today’s jobs require some technology skills, and experts say that the percentage will increase to 77 percent in the next decade. The gap between the demand for IT professionals and supply of qualified employees with the right technical skills is predicted to be as high as 40 percent over the next fiv e to 10 years. The WVDE has also launched Microsoft Office 365, a suite of tools for students and teachers for communication and collaboration. Office 365 is being made available to every student and faculty member in West Virginia’s public schools. Through Microsoft’s Student Advantage program, it is provided to students at no charge. Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council Chosen for STEM Pilot Program PRESERVING AMERICA’S LOG HOME HERITAGE · Log Home Packages · Precut or Linear Foot Log Home Materials · Borate Pressure Treatment · Log Siding & Corners www.applog.com 1·866·LOG·HOME (1-866-564-4663) info@mail.applog.com 82 west virginia executive · Log Railing & Posts · Log Home Hardware · Timber Frame Materials · Wood Care Products · 25 Year Warranty I-77 Exit 132 Ripley, WV Visit our model log home M-F 8-5 Sat 10-4 or by appointment The Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council, headquartered in Charleston, WV, is one of four councils to be chosen to implement the IMAGINE Your STEM Future pilot study for 2014-2015. This program will academically re-engage high school girls by immersing them in the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, as well as a variety of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities designed to increase confidence and spark interest in STEM careers. The program will be offered to 200 girls during the school day at Riverside High School and Capitol High School in Kanawha County beginning this fall. “The Black Diamond Council is excited to be offering this program to girls in conjunction with Kanawha County Schools,” says Beth Casey, CEO of Girl Scouts of Black Diamond. “STEM is a huge area of opportunity, and we want to ensure that girls have all the tools they need to be successful in this career field.” The IMAGINE Your STEM Future program was the result of a recent Girl Scout Research Institute study that looked at student attitudes toward STEM subjects. Research shows that 74 percent of teen girls are interested in STEM subjects and the general field of study. However, few girls consider it their No. 1 career option. Girls also show little knowledge of STEM careers and the opportunities afforded by these fields, with 60 percent of STEM-interested girls acknowledging that they know more about other careers than they do about STEM careers. “STEM education is a viable career path for girls,” says Casey. “These girls are full of potential and will one day be our leaders,