Jane Chu visited Highland Park Middle School in Beaverton and Quatama Elementary School in Hillsboro, two schools with nationally recognized STEAM programs.
STEAM means science, technology, engineering and math education, plus the arts. Chu said STEAM education is especially important for a diverse student body.
“STEAM and arts even the playing field in terms of giving an opportunity for every student,” Chu said, “no matter what background they come from, socioeconomic level, all walks of life. That gives people academic opportunities where they can perform at their optimum.”
Highland Park and Quatama were among eight schools in the country awarded Innovation STEAM grant awards of $10,000 each.
Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, D-Ore., also toured the schools with Chu. She praised the schools for broadening the horizons of student educations.
“Oregon’s dedication to the arts enriches our lives, makes Oregon a better place to live, and supports our growing economy,” said Bonamici.