July 02, 2014 - By Katie Winkler
Review Staff Writer
After two years of development, a Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM) program will be starting at LOHS in the fall, offering pre-engineering courses.
The variety of classes will focus on an overview of engineering, design concepts, ethics, graphical communications, systems, variety of technologies, and principles.
LOHS has offered auto-CAD, auto-tech and other classes pertaining to the engineering field, but never courses specific to the field.
"You have to make sure that whatever program you are going to have fits the needs of your students," LOHS Principal Steve Hawley said. "We work very closely with the Oakland Intermediate School District and their recommendations of what is going on in the other schools in the Oakland County area."
LOHS has been in close contact with the Design and Manufacturing Association to help with designing the program around what the engineering field is looking for, giving Orion students a strong foundation of the overall field.
This program differs from other STEM programs in the country because it addresses the needs of all students interested.
"Students who complete the multi-year program will have the skills needed to pursue industry certificates and two-year degrees, as well as traditional degrees from four-year universities," said district assistant superintendent of curriculum, assessment and instruction, Heidi Mercer.
More than 300 students, ranging from freshman to seniors, have signed up to become part of the pre-engineering program.
In relationship to this program, students will be taking high-level science and math classes to better their understanding of the engineering field. The combination of the math and science with the pre-engineering courses makes up the STEM program.
According to intermediate school officials, LOHS's pre-engineering program is expected to be one of
Much of the development for this program began after Hawley became principal in July 2012. Combined with the other programs LOHS offers and the support from parents and other staff members, the new pre-engineering program will give students the hands-on experiences they need to succeed in the field of engineering.
"I think that any school that has a strong robotics team, like we do, engineering is closely tied to what they do in robotics. There is going to be a close correlation between the two programs," Hawley said. "Many of the students that are involved in robotics are already assigned to take the pre-engineering courses."
Lake Orion Community Schools approved a new teacher, Jim Stuef, on June 25 to teach the pre-engineering program.
"You've got to have the right instructor that has the right background and certifications that is qualified to teach the courses that we have. We have found that individual," Hawley said.
Stuef received his Bachelor of Science, Industrial Education from Northern Michigan University, along with additional courses at Western Michigan University.
After teaching for the last twenty-eight years, including six years in the Lake Orion district, he is ready to guide the new engineering program.