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Website underway for students looking for work in STEM fields

Union Leader Correspondent

October 18. 2016 8:00PM

PORTSMOUTH — A Portsmouth-based design agency is playing a key role in creating a website that guides students into careers in STEM fields.

Mad*Pow on Congress Street formulated a user-friendly site that helps students and their parents see where they can improve in their studies to make sure they are in the running for jobs in high-paying fields of the future. The site is specific to New Hampshire, and breaks the state into three parts, so users can find activities and courses near them.

“I have a vested interest in this,” creative director and senior vice president Buck Beaudoin said. “I have two daughters within the New Hampshire school system.”

Beaudoin was invited to join the Governor’s Task Force on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education in July of 2015. In creating the website, he and other leaders in business and education wanted to make sure the end product had the right tone for their users.

“We get into the persona of each user,” Beaudoin said.

The Governor’s Task Force recently released its first annual report on modernizing STEM education in New Hampshire’s K-12 schools. It highlighted the STEM virtual hub Beaudoin and his team are working on, as well as the preparation of a feasibility plan for establishing a New Hampshire Math and Science Academy and the creation of pilot Personal Learning Plans for middle school students.

“The work described in the task force report is advancing STEM education in important ways. Over time, the strengthened K-12 pathways in New Hampshire will lead to higher postsecondary attainment in STEM and related fields, which in turn will strengthen the social and economic future of our residents,” Task Force Chair Ross Gittell said in a statement. Gittell is a chancellor of the Community College System of New Hampshire.

Beaudoin agreed.

“This initiative is designed to benefit students, teachers and businesses, with the ultimate goal of providing innovative STEM education and keeping highly skilled students in New Hampshire after graduation to meet the growing employment demands of tech companies like Mad*Pow,” Beaudoin said.

Beaudoin said Mad*Pow was founded in 2000, and now has 70 employees in Portsmouth and Boston.

The website does not yet have a URL, but the hope is to go live this year.

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