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Thursday, August 21, 2014

New Nashua charter school could help satisfy demand for STEM education

Tina Forbes

Science, technology, engineering and math skills continue to be coveted qualities for potential employees, particularly in New Hampshire. With that in mind, Nashua is set to welcome a new after-school charter program this September. The program has the sole purpose of fine-tuning students’ advanced math skills.

The Russian School of Mathematics plans to open its After-School Math Program at 84 Lake Street on Sept. 4. The program teaches advanced math for kindergarten through 12th-grade students. The Nashua location for the Russian School of Mathematics will be the first branch in the state. ...

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Science, technology, engineering and math skills continue to be coveted qualities for potential employees, particularly in New Hampshire. With that in mind, Nashua is set to welcome a new after-school charter program this September. The program has the sole purpose of fine-tuning students’ advanced math skills.

The Russian School of Mathematics plans to open its After-School Math Program at 84 Lake Street on Sept. 4. The program teaches advanced math for kindergarten through 12th-grade students. The Nashua location for the Russian School of Mathematics will be the first branch in the state.

In New Hampshire, STEM-based occupations will see an increased demand through 2020, according to a report last spring from the New Hampshire Employment Security Agency.

During that time frame, NHES estimates that STEM jobs will account for 3,180 of the 22,759 of annual job openings in the state, or 14 percent. Of those jobs, open positions were distributed in the following ways: 39.8 percent in the health care and social assistance fields; 17.3 percent in the professional and business services sector; and 9.5 percent in manufacturing.

The agency concluded that prospective workers in the state pursuing STEM careers are likely to have “favorable” employment opportunities through 2020.

In April 2014, Gov. Maggie Hassan recognized the need for increasing STEM education when she issued an executive order to create a “STEM Education Task Force.” The task force comprises a group of stakeholders from the education and business communities. Participants make recommendations for modernizing STEM education for kindergarten through 12th grade in New Hampshire schools.

Nashua’s Russian School of Mathematics will host its grand opening celebration on Saturday, Sept. 20 from noon to 5 p.m. Prospective students and their families can meet faculty, play math games and take math evaluations.

Igor Chernin, former principal software engineer and principal of RSM’s Acton branch, will head the Nashua school. “Our Nashua branch will be situated in the heart of New Hampshire’s high tech industry where families are highly educated and particularly attuned to the enduring value of a quality math education,” said Chernin in a statement released by the school. “We are opening RSM-Nashua after having been besieged with inquiries from area families almost daily for the past several years. Some of our students have been commuting to our Acton location for several years from places as far away as Bedford.”

The Massachusetts-based chain was established in 1997 by two Russian immigrants, Inessa Rifkin and Irina Khavinson. The program took off and enrolls more than 11,000 students at 21 locations in seven states.

For more information or to enroll, see the school’s website, www.russianschool.com.

Tina Forbes can be reached at 594-6402 or tforbes@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Forbes on Twitter (@Telegraph_TinaF).