Lut. Governor Kim Guadagno has announced the formation of the Governor’s STEM Scholars program.

David Matthau, Townsquare Media NJ

During a ceremony at the Statehouse this afternoon, Guadagno said the initiative will serve as a mentoring program for Jersey’s best and brightest students “in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math - it’s the latest chapter in our Administration’s efforts to promote excellence in education, as a pathway to creating and filling the jobs of the 21st century.”

The program will include 50 scholars – from high school, college and grad school, and the application process will begin next month.

“This program calls for these scholars to participate in a year long program” said Guadagno. “They will spend time collaborating with each other, with the  R and D Council, the Department of Education and also with Higher Education representatives, to work on how we can ensure that STEM skills are advanced in our high schools, our colleges and our schools of higher education.  It’s a next step in an ongoing process to hire talented, motivated young people and keep them in New Jersey.”

Guadagno said the program will help generate a love for science in a young student, which will then be passed on to the next student.  She said, "After that they become the STEM ambassadors for New Jersey.  The idea is to keep them here.  Find jobs for them here through the R and D Council.”

Established in 1962, the Newark-based Research & Development Council of New Jersey was created to serve as a unified voice for the three R&D sectors — industry, academia and government — to create an environment R&D could thrive in. The R&D Council is a nonprofit organization whose membership includes representatives from academia, government and industry, including several Fortune 500 companies. More information can be found at the R&D Council’s website.