STEM in Delaware: A Student’s Perspective

By Monica Mizzoni

This past week I had the opportunity to interview with Michael Canning, a senior at Caesar Rodney High School. Canning serves as the student representative on the Governor’s STEM council for Delaware. He also currently serves as the President of the Delaware Technology Student Association, “a non-profit student organization that fosters personal growth, leadership, and opportunities in technology, innovation, design, and engineering.”

When I asked Canning about his role in STEM he responded by explaining that his most influential involvement in STEM is serving as the student representative for the state of Delaware. As representative, he attends meetings, provides input in discussions, and has been an important voice on the Council’s signature initiative; the Delaware STEM Educator Awards. He values his role on the STEM council because he feels that he “provides a different perspective to the council members as he voices opinions from a student’s point of view.”

Furthermore, as the leader of the Delaware Technology Student Association (DETSA), he provides insight to STEM classes in public schools, helps write the curriculum for STEM courses, and has the chance to communicate with various tech teachers around the state. With TSA, he also encourages students to get involved in STEM and shows other students why STEM is fun. Each year, the TSA runs their State Conference which involves over 750 students, advisers, and judges from across the state of Delaware.  Students attending the conference participate in various competitive events. The members of the council also volunteer at STEM outreach programs where high school age students teach younger students. His favorite event is the Invention Convention, a three-day event held at the Hagley Museum in Delaware. The TSA students help to run this event where kids are invited to build their dream inventions with recycled household items and participate in other hands-on interactive experiments and activities.

In his spare time, Canning enjoys applying what he has learned in his engineering and computer classes to fix things at home. Canning asserted that, “STEM is not just something experienced in a classroom, for most, if not all, students it carries over into normal everyday life.” This shows why STEM is so relevant and important to everyone.

When I asked Canning what he believes is the importance of STEM education, he explained how in the past there has been reliance on the status quo, but now that we have entered a new era of technology, we should embrace the opportunity to learn how new technologies operate. He believes that STEM goes hand-in-hand with the need to acclimate students to new technologies. Additionally, there is a high demand of STEM jobs, so teaching kids STEM not only helps students acquire jobs, but also teaches them valuable skills that are useful in their day-to-day lives.

In conclusion, Canning is appreciative for the opportunities that he has had through serving on the STEM Council and the Delaware TSA. He feels honored to be the student representative on the council voicing the opinion of the students of Delaware, and is determined to continue working to make Delaware a better through science, technology, engineering and math.


About Delaware STEM:

The STEM Council, composed of more than two dozen appointed members representing businesses, educational institutions and government agencies throughout the state, was created by Governor Jack Markell in 2011 to increase the STEM literacy of all Delaware students, thereby expanding the STEM capable workforce and fueling economic growth for all Delawareans.


About DETSA:

The Technology Student Association fosters personal growth, leadership, and opportunities in technology, innovation, design, and engineering. Members apply and integrate science, technology, engineering and mathematics concepts through co-curricular activities, competitive events and related programs.