Biloxi hosts inaugural STEM Summit

Biloxi Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich, continuing the innovation and development initiatives that have underscored his first year in office, today hosted a STEM Summit at City Hall to stimulate a greater dialogue about the necessity of promoting science and technology education in the modern classroom.

“Encouraging our children to embrace science, technology, engineering and math is vitally important to our future for employee training and job development,” Gilich told a group of educators and STEM facilitators. “Existing industries like Ingalls, Keesler and the Stennis Space Center already have a need for critical thinkers and that need is only going to grow in the near future as we continue to court more high tech business to our area.”

Biloxi native Lawrence Love helped plan the summit and was pleased with the outcome. “We brought a diverse group together to start a louder conversation on STEM advancement,” he said. “Mayor Gilich and the City of Biloxi should be congratulated on taking a lead role to get more students excited and involved in science and math.”

Mark Mitrovich, CEO of Global Learning and Leadership in Chicago, presented an overview of a National STEM Demonstration Program that has been successful in stimulating interest among students who otherwise struggle with science and math. Kat Brown of Achieve 3000 in Atlanta provided an overview of literacy’s impact on the STEM initiative.

Also attending the session were Oyd Craddock, retired IBM executive who was involved in STEM programs in Georgia; Superintendent Arthur McMillan and Assistant Superintendents Drs. Janice Johnson and Karen Norwood of Biloxi Public Schools; Toy Watts of Moss Point Public Schools; Rodger Wilder and Amy Perry of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community Foundation; Diane King, executive director Gulf Coast Education Initiative Consortium; and Dr. Tom King, chief development officer of IMPACT Education of Hattiesburg.

“This was a good start,” said Love, who is Vice President of Business Development INPRO Platform in Atlanta. “Next we plan to expand the conversation Coast-wide to help develop a stronger push that will benefit all our schools.”
See photos from the initial meeting