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STEM at the Settlement

In an effort to further education through their museum, Naper Settlement hosted a panel discussion to talk about STEM and agriculture.

“I think just the mere showing of the people and the large amount of people has a lot to say about that agriculture and this is just the beginning of that conversation,” said Rena Tamayo-Calabrese, President and CEO of Naper Settlement.

15 panelists, including Mayor Chirico, State Representative Grant Wehrli, and State Treasurer Michael Frerichs discussed how science, technology, engineering and math are vital to our agricultural well being and how that benefits our state.

“Agriculture generates a lot of wealth for the state if we’re able to grow this economy and produce more wealth that’ll mean more dollars coming into the general assembly in terms of taxes, that means less that the general assembly has to raise taxes and less cuts they have to make to important programs,” said State Treasurer, Michael Frerichs.

Farming is the number one industry in Illinois, the Settlement hopes to highlight that through a state of the art agriculture center, incorporating STEM education to show how the farming business is being modified so that students going into the field are prepared.

“A lot of ways they are adapting is the use of science and new technology, because farmer’s now need engineering and math to be efficient farmers. So we need to make sure our future farmers are getting the training they need in schools today,” said Frerichs.

Naper Settlements agricultural interpretive center would not only instill excitement about agriculture for the nearly 33,000 students who visit each year, but also commemorate Naperville’s time as a farming community.

“What we do as museums, we take that which we preserve, the three dimensional, the artifacts, and use them as tools to educate those that are coming and those new generations to ensure that we have a prosperous city,” said Rena Tamayo-Calabrese.

Naperville News 17’s Natalie Vitale reports.


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