Authentic STEM Winter 2023 Launch Takes Off across Eastern New York!

Authentic STEM Winter 2023 Launch Takes Off across Eastern New York!

Authentic STEM launched its Winter 2023 Cohort in Plattsburgh, NY at an online event this week. 

Plattsburgh, NY, February 8, 2023 – Authentic STEM launched its Winter 2023 Cohort in Plattsburgh, NY at an online event this week. This innovative program connects twenty-six (26) high school and middle school students from across the region with German students and premier business partners BETA Technologies, TMD Friction, ALSCO Uniforms, and Onsemi Semiconductors as they tackle real-world challenges using STEM principles.

The cohort launch occurred on Wednesday, February 8th, at 9 AM. The program gives students the unique opportunity to learn from industry experts and gain hands-on experience with cutting-edge technology. The program will immerse students in the partner companies’ culture and expose them to the latest trends and technologies in the field-equipping them with the skills needed to succeed in competitive STEM industries

“The Authentic STEM program is more than just an educational opportunity. It is a transformative initiative that empowers our region to reimagine what is possible when recruiting and retaining talent from the North Country,” said Jordon LeBlanc, Programming Director at the NCWP. “We believe that by providing students with hands-on learning and giving them real-world experience with innovative companies, all from an international perspective, we can help create a pipeline of talented and motivated young people who will choose to stay and build their careers in the North Country.”

By partnering with leading local businesses and offering a unique blend of theory and practical experience, Authentic STEM is helping to lay the foundation for a bright and innovative future for the North Country. 

“At BETA Technologies we are focused on using science and technology to create a better, more sustainable future for aviation,” said Blain Newton, BETA’s Chief Operating Officer. “It’s going to take a lot of smart, capable people to make this a reality and that starts by inspiring students today. We are firm believers in the power of hands-on experience, and we’re honored to partner with Authentic STEM to help develop the next generation workforce.”

Authentic STEM results from the groundbreaking partnership between the North Country Workforce Partnership, Inc. (NCWP) and the University of Siegen (Siegen, NRW, Germany), Clarkson University, and the North Country Chamber of Commerce. Students from Champlain Valley Educational Services (CVES), Franklin-Essex-Hamilton (FEH) BOCES, Dutchess County BOCES, and Malone Middle School partner with German students in Olpe, NRW, Germany, and the German International School in Washington D.C. to identify, test, and formally recommend solutions to their industry partner.

With the support of three regional BOCES, Authentic STEM now reaches more students than ever. The positive impact it has on students is undeniable. Through hands-on experience and exposure to the latest technology and trends, students are developing new skills, gaining confidence, and discovering their passions. These opportunities have a lasting impact, helping students to make informed decisions about their futures and equipping them with the tools they need to succeed in STEM careers. With its blend of theory and practical experience, Authentic STEM is a program that truly sets students up for success.

“We are excited and proud to continue our partnership with the Authentic STEM Project,” says Michele Friedman, Career & Technical Education Director at CVES. “This program continues to create meaningful partnerships between educational institutions and business & industry partners by allowing students to engage in an international problem-solving experience that reflects the current global economy.”

“Our students are looking forward to an incredibly enriching experience through their involvement in this project. As Career and Technical Education students, they have a wealth of experience already with project-based learning, so they should be fully prepared to make strong contributions,” added Lori Tourville, Franklin-Essex-Hamilton BOCES Assistant Superintendent for Instruction. “We at FEH BOCES are incredibly proud of them for taking on this challenge, and we appreciate being invited to participate with our regional partners and German colleagues.”

In the spirit of new partnerships, the NCWP is partnering with Clarkson University for this cohort and beyond. Students in the University’s Institute for STEM Education will act as mentors to students, providing guidance, direction, and oversight to each group throughout the process. 

“Engaging students with open-ended, relevant problems is an empowering way to help them see connections between things they learn in the classroom and the real world,” notes Kathleen Kavanagh, Director of the Clarkson Institute for STEM Education and the Vice President of Education for the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. “The benefits–like learning teamwork, communication skills, and pushing themselves out of their comfort zone cannot be understated. I am so excited to see what the teams come up with!”

Efforts are underway to expand Authentic STEM even further, with new cohorts scheduled to launch in the summer and fall of 2023. This exciting expansion will bring the program to more students in the North Country and beyond, giving them the opportunity to experience the transformative power of STEM education.

“We’re incredibly proud to launch this cohort in Plattsburgh, Malone, Saranac Lake, and Poughkeepsie! We’re grateful to our educational and industry partners for their commitment to the next generation of STEM leaders,” said Sylvie Nelson, Executive Director of the NCWP. “We are investing in their future workforce because we see that the future is now.”

Authentic STEM is made possible, in part, by the phenomenal support of the Northern Border Regional Commission, United States Department of Agriculture, Workforce Development Institute, TDC, Adirondack Foundation, and Cloudsplitter Foundation. These forward-thinking agencies and organizations are indispensable in our pursuit to change the workforce landscape for the next generation.

For more information about Authentic STEM, the Winter 2023 Cohort, or to get involved in the program, contact Jordon LeBlanc at


About the North Country Workforce Partnership:
The North Country Workforce Partnership, Inc. (NCWP) is a regional organization dedicated to promoting workforce development and economic growth in the North Country. We are committed to promoting job readiness, skill development, and entrepreneurship, helping individuals to build successful careers and businesses. NCWP also collaborates with regional and state partners to ensure that the needs of the North Country workforce are met. Through its programs and partnerships, NCWP is helping to create a stronger and more vibrant local economy, supporting the long-term growth and prosperity of the North Country.

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