From athletes to mathletes: STEM Signing Day shines light on WA scholars

May 20, 2022, 2:33 PM | Updated: 2:34 pm

Student STEM...

(Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)

(Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)

We all know about National Signing Day — when star athletes from local high schools sign to go play football or basketball at a university.

But we don’t see similar widespread hype for the honors students, the Robotics Club members, and the Mathletes.

That’s why local political, business, and educational movers and shakers hosted their own signing event for this year’s crop of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) graduates.

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In a ceremony broadcast online, 49 STEM stars across Washington signed letters pledging to study at the colleges of their choosing next year.

“Just like signing days for athletes, STEM Signing Day honorees will sign a letter of intent to pursue their STEM goal,” said Sam Whiting, director of Boeing Global Engagement, Western Region. Boeing and Tallo hosted the event here and in 15 other states.

The grads-to-be were each introduced by legislators and educational leaders from across the state. Each of the students will be pursuing one or more of the STEM areas in their studies and careers. They will attend two-year and four-year programs, at private and public schools, here at home and across the nation. They are planning careers in everything from medicine to cyber-security to air traffic control.

But while it was a day of celebration, Renton School District Superintendent Damien Pattenaude also reminded the graduates of some important advice. Pattenaude said it is less important exactly which college and which career they choose — and more important that they use their STEM gifts to make the world a better place.

“With excellence comes achievement, and with achievement comes responsibility,” he said. “While you may or may not return to your community to live and work, you must continue to turn your excellence into action in an attempt to improve the life of someone else.”

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From athletes to mathletes: STEM Signing Day shines light on WA scholars