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Harrisburg -- This week, the Pennsylvania Department of Education announced the winners of the sixth annual Governor's STEM Competition, which was held virtually due to COVID-19. This year, Wilson High School of Berks County took the top honor.

A number of local schools in northcentral Pa. participated in the STEM competition, including Central Mountain High School, Loyalsock High School, Midd-West High School, and Northern Potter High School.

“Pennsylvania is a leader in STEM education and this competition allows students to demonstrate how they are using science, technology, engineering and math skills to solve problems and improve the lives of all commonwealth residents,” said Governor Tom Wolf.

“To keep pace with a changing economy, we must continue to grow our supply of skilled workers by expanding STEM and computer science education, increasing apprenticeships and improving collaboration with job training,” he added.

As part of the state's commitment to education, the governor launched a PAsmart initiative two years ago, investing $40 million in high-quality STEM and computer science education in elementary, middle, and high schools, and professional development for teachers as well as $30 million to expand career and technical education, registered apprenticeships, and Next Generation Industry Partnerships.

The Governor’s STEM Competition included 28 student teams that qualified by winning regional competitions that featured more than 100 teams. The students have been designing and building their projects during the school year and could make improvements after the regional competition.

Teams are required to partner with their local communities to develop a solution to a real problem rooted in the community – this helps create an authentic experience for the students and provides opportunities for them to learn more about career pathways and employment opportunities based in STEM.

“This competition provides students with valuable experience as they apply the STEM skills acquired in the classroom to solve real-world problems affecting the communities where they live,” said Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera. 

This story was compiled by an NCPA staff reporter from submitted news. To see a list of our editorial staff please visit our staff directory.