Local woman to join STEM education leaders at the White House

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Rachael Manzer

Rachael Manzer, a Hartland resident and STEAM Coach at Winchester Public Schools, was recently invited to attend the first-of-its-kind State-Federal Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education Summit hosted by The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) on June 25-26, in Washington, D.C.

As a STEAM coach, she works with teachers, students in the classroom and creates innovative STEAM programs. Manzer is actively engaged in STEM education both within Connecticut and at the national level. She has received numerous state and national accolades. 

Manzer is also a Granby 4-H Leader, and leads three different 4-H projects groups: VEX IQ Middle School Robotic Competition Team who won the 2018 Connecticut State Robotic Championship and competed in the 2018 World Championship; a VEX IQ Robotic Project Group that designs and builds robots to compete at the Hartford County 4-H Fair; and a 4-H Cubes in Space Group who had three experiments fly in space on a NASA Sounding Rocket in on June 21, 2018. 

“Rachael Manzer embodies STEM Education; she has dedicated her life to furthering scientific inquiry and sharing that love with children. Through her instruction and guidance, children become exposed to phenomena that excite and drives their love of science,” said Winchester schools Superintendent Melony Brady-Shanley.

According to the OSTP, the State-Federal STEM Education Summit will convene a diverse group of state STEM leaders, who will participate in the development of a new federal five-year STEM Education Strategic Plan in compliance with the America COMPETES Act of 2010.

“This event is the first time an administration has asked for this level of state input when developing a Federal STEM education strategy,” said Jeff Weld, senior policy advisor and assistant director for STEM education at OSTP. “Top-down approaches to STEM education can often yield wonderful ideas, but it’s at the state and community level where the momentum happens. State leaders know best what kinds of programs will work in their communities, and where they need the power of the Federal government to help drive success in this field. STEM education is critical to preparing our students for the jobs of the future. We must do everything we can to ensure that federal, state, local, and tribal governments, communities, educators, and private industry partners are united for the long-term success of our nation.”

Alongside OSTP in planning and carrying out this summit are the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the Smithsonian Institution. STEM leaders from all 50 states, as well as U.S. territories and tribes, will attend the summit to advance State-Federal STEM alignment.

In 1976, Congress established OSTP to provide the President and others within the Executive Office of the President with advice on the scientific, engineering, and technological aspects of the economy, national security, homeland security, health, foreign relations, the environment, and the technological recovery and use of resources, among other topics.