Montgomery County business and school representatives disclosed plans last night to develop a computerized resource center at each school to enable students and teachers to locate and use the resources offered by local businesses.
Billed as a new partnership to be called "the Montgomery Education Connection," the project is designed to furnish the schools with experts willing to give classroom lectures, tutor, sponsor field trips and internships and provide encouragement for students aspiring to succeed in such fields as engineering and computer science.
"Clearly both industry and the school system have a need for resources. We, in the Connection, intend to be the link," Merle Garvis, president of Cordatum Inc. and a member of the project's board of directors, told the County Board of Education.
The directors, who are from computer, banking, engineering, bio-tech and law companies, met with school and county government representatives for the first time last May.
The project's first computer will be tested at one as yet undetermined school in the spring. Six schools will test the project next year, Garvis said.
The project comes at a time when the county government has been eager to show private industry it is willing to commit personnel and financial resources to attract high-tech industries.
In two years the Connection project coordinators hope to have a computer in every secondary school. Until then the schools will have to rely on periodically updated directories printed out from the main computer.
Most of the personnel and equipment used to develop the Connection project will come from private industry, although the school system has allocated a part-time coordinator and teacher training time.
On Nov. 28 the First American Bank will sponsor a breakfast for 300 to 500 company representatives who will be asked to donate $500 each for the next three years to fund the project, Garvis said.
He said that the rewards for the business community would be to ensure that the public schools continue to attract parents who are professionals and that the schools would become a training ground for highly skilled professions.
"With a good school system you'll be able to attract the family man, the top management employe," Garvin said. "You need to start as early as you can to condition" children, he said.
"If they have had a good ties with industry and good experiences with them at the lower levels," he said, "they are more prone to come back" after college.