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U.S. official invited to LI tech program

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand will outline her proposed

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand will outline her proposed legislation to help scientists develop their research into high-tech products and companies during a news conference at Stony Brook University on July 7. (Feb. 24, 2012) Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) has asked a top federal education official to visit for a day a successful Long Island “magnet” high-tech program to view as a possible model for the nation.

The program — the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Magnet Academy at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Uniondale — has partnerships with 18 Long Island-based aerospace and technology companies, some of which offer internships.

“We believe this model can be duplicated in other parts of the country to help address the skills gap challenges found throughout the nation, particularly among minority populations,” Gillibrand said in her letter to U.S. Education Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation Jim Shelton.

The program started four years ago with the Westbury School District and had 70 ninth- and 10th-graders. Last year the Uniondale School District added another 100 students.

All of the initial 70 students are in four-year colleges and 49 are in STEM-related majors.

Andrew Parton, executive director of the museum, which is active in the program, said: “We’ve been able to bridge the gap between education and business by bringing local companies into the process of generating excitement for careers in aerospace and technology.”

JoAnn Webb, a spokeswoman for Shelton, said Thursday he had not yet received the invitation.

Above: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)

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