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Go Higher! Discover Your Community Colleges, State Universities & UMass Campuses

  • Go Higher Logo

    What is Go Higher?

    Go Higher! promotes college readiness and raises awareness of the growing number of outstanding programs and opportunities available to students at our community colleges, state universities and UMass campuses.

    Go Higher! is a campaign by the Department of Higher Education, in partnership with Massachusetts' 29 public colleges and universities, to raise awareness of the growing number of outstanding programs and opportunities available to students at our community colleges, state universities and UMass campuses.

  • Students work together at a laptop

    UMass Amherst gets $15 million for cybersecurity program

    University of Massachusetts Amherst’s computer science programs are about to enjoy a growth spurt, thanks to a $15 million grant from a foundation established by the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co.

    University of Massachusetts Amherst’s computer science programs are about to enjoy a growth spurt, thanks to a $15 million grant from a foundation established by the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., better known as MassMutual.

    The MassMutual Foundation will donate the money over 10 years, with $12 million going to the university’s Center for Data Science. The center, founded last year, studies methods for analyzing vast amounts of information about complex systems. Insights from data science can be applied to almost any area of knowledge, from retailing to medicine to national security.

    Another $3 million will go to the university’sCybersecurity Institute, which will launch a new security training center in Springfield, where MassMutual is located. The center will offer a certification program in cybersecurity, where students can boost their network security skills without having to complete a four-year degree program.

    “We’re going to be using that money to jumpstart faculty hiring,” said UMass Amherst chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy, who said the faculty roster at the two facilities would be boosted to 40 members from its current 20. Subbaswamy said the university has already received the first tranche of funding and “we’re hiring faculty even as we speak.”

    Andrew McCallum, director of the Center for Data Science, said MassMutual may have been swayed to provide the money by its success in hiring UMass data scientists. “MassMutual hired some of our Ph.D students,” said McCallum, “and they were seeing tremendously positive results.”

    Nick Fyntrilakis, president of the MassMutual Foundation, said UMass Amherst is already a nationally recognized leader in data science and cybersecurity. “This gift really helps take us to the next level,” he said. In addition, Fyntrilakis said the grant would benefit the entire Pioneer Valley economy, by providing an ample supply of trained data scientists.

    UMass gets $15m for cybersecurity program - The Boston Globe

  • American Bureau of Shipping Information Commons - photo of building

    Massachusetts Maritime Academy First in Commonwealth System to Achieve LEED® Platinum Certification

    Mass Maritime's American Bureau of Shipping Information Commons is the first of the state's public college and university buildings to be awarded Platinum, the highest level of LEED certification

    This is the first LEED Platinum building in the commonwealth’s college and university system. The ABS Information Commons is home to the Academy’s Academic Resource Center, 360º bridge simulator, library and archives collection, and classroom and meeting space. The project achieved LEED certification for implementing practical and measurable solutions in the following:

    Energy efficiency – heating and cooling generated by a 48-well, closed loop, geothermal heat pump, electricity provided through 103kW, rooftop, solar photovoltaic array and procurement of wind energy renewable energy credits, use of daylighting, motion sensors and LED lamps, and chilled beam HVAC system. The building is designed to run at least 35% more efficient than standard construction.

    Innovation and design – the building utilizes a sloped roof specifically designed for solar photovoltaics.nThe sloped roof also allows for maximum wind flow over the building that improves performance of thenAcademy’s wind turbine. A rotund column inside the building effectively provides space for the Academy’s bridge simulator that trains cadets on the operation and handling of vessels, while other spaces in the column are used for academic resources. Water conservation – restrooms are equipped with low flow fixtures. The sloped roof allows for flow of rainwater to a bio-swale that provides habitat for flora and fauna; no irrigation is provided.

    Construction materials selection – framework constructed of 100% recycled steel, concrete comprised of 20% recycled content, insulation made from 40% recycled materials, and use of rapidly renewable wood.

    Sustainable site selection – the building was placed on a former parking area and did not replace existing or open green space. The building is elevated above flood levels as measure of resiliency.

    Vice President of Operations, Paul O’Keefe, stated, “The Academy takes pride in being the first Massachusetts state college/university to achieve LEED Platinum. This accomplishment is one of many the Academy has taken to be a leader in sustainability and environmental stewardship. We are looking forward to continuing this process and providing a learn-do- learn environment for our cadets.”

    The ABS Information Commons is the third LEED certified building on campus and joins the LEED Gold 1st and 2nd Company Dormitory Expansion completed in 2008 and the LEED Silver 4th Company Expansion completed in 2014.

    The LEED rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is the foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.

    Leading LEEDS - Mass Maritime News

  • Photo of MCLA Campus

    MCLA joins with Western New England University to offer law degree path

    Accelerated 3+3 program will save students a year's worth of time and tuition

    After a new agreement with Western New England University announced on Tuesday, the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts has positioned itself as a launch pad for students interested in a law degree.

    In what is termed a "three plus three" agreement between the two schools, a qualified undergraduate student can leave MCLA after three years of coursework to attend Western New England University, where he or she will be on-track to receive a Juris Doctor Degree.

    Typically, a student would receive a Juris Doctor after seven years of college education — four as an undergraduate and three in law school.

    "We are pleased to sign this agreement with the Western New England University School of Law," MCLA President James Birge said. "This 3+3 arrangement will attract qualified and ambitious undergraduate students who seek a career in law. An accelerated course of study, this program will save them one year's worth of time and tuition as it maintains high academic standards and provides a challenging and comprehensive curriculum."

    MCLA joins with Western New England University to offer law degree path - The Berkshire Eagle

  • BHCC Men's Basketball point guard Elijah Rogers, right, battles down the court in the MCCAA statewide championship game last weekend.

    Bunker Hill Community College Men's Basketball Team Wins State Championship

    For the first time in 11 years, the Bunker Hill Community College Men's Basketball team has won the Massachusetts Community College Athletic Association statewide championship.

    During the season the Bulldogs sustained a ten-game winning streak, secured wins against the New England powerhouse Community College of Rhode Island for the first time in the College's history, and rose to 8th position in Division III of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) rankings.

    BHCC Men's Basketball players David Stewart and Elijah Rogers made the all-region team, as did Fredens Deneus, whose impressive credentials made him a candidate for the NJCAA All-American team as well. Deneus ranks second in the U.S. in field goals and seventh in rebounds.

    "This year's win is the first post-season title for the Bulldogs since 2005," said an ecstatic Nkrumah Jones, an alumnus of both BHCC and the Men's Basketball team, who is now in his fifth year as Men's Basketball coach at the College. "We were in first place the whole season, and remain confident in our ability to continue our dominance," Jones said. 

    Winning the title will draw more recruits to BHCC, Jones added.  He pointed out that, in a season of firsts, the MCCAC title was the first basketball championship to be won in the College's own gym. The gym is part of the College's newest structure, a LEED-Gold building that went up just six years ago.

    Bunker Hill Community College Men's Basketball Team Wins State Championship - Yahoo News

    PHOTO: BHCC Men's Basketball point guard Elijah Rogers, right, battles down the court in the MCCAA statewide championship game last weekend.

Building Student Interest in STEM

  • SSA Student shows Lieutenant Gov. Polito a project she's working on.

    Governor Baker and State Officials Visit Bunker Hill Community College STEM Starter Academy

    Governor Baker, Lieutenant Governor Polito, House Speaker DeLeo, Education Secretary Peyser and Higher Education Commissioner Santiago observed and engaged with two classrooms during their visit.

    Top state officials got a chance to visit the first day of the STEM Starter Academy at Bunker Hill Community College on Monday, August 22, 2016.

    Many enrolled in the STEM Starter Academy are Chelsea High School students from BHCC’s TRiO Chelsea program, which helps students complete college coursework while still in high school. With thirty-five percent of TRiO graduates intending to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields, the STEM Starter Academy is a great way to help jump-start students’ major-specific courses, allowing them to complete their degree programs on time or even early.


    Photo courtesy Bunker Hill Community College.

  • Three students gather around a microscope in a lab. Photo courtesy Bridgewater State University.

    Baker-Polito Administration Awards $260,000 to Promote STEM Education

    Grant awards will support the Commonwealth’s Regional STEM Networks.

    The Baker-Polito Administration today announced over $250,000 in grant awards to support the Commonwealth’s Regional STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Networks.

    Begun in 2004, the state’s Regional STEM Networks, often hosted by institutions of higher education, serve as hubs for connecting educators, community leaders and industry partners to further excite and energize students about opportunities in STEM subjects. These networks are among the longest standing STEM Networks in the country.

    “I thank all of our STEM Network partners who are working to help meet the future needs of our rapidly changing economy and bolster skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our collective efforts continue to increase engagement in and raise awareness about the importance of STEM education both for our economy and the new opportunities it creates for our young people.” 

    “Capturing students’ interest in learning about and working in STEM careers is critical for our economy,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, a co-chair of the STEM Advisory Council. “These Regional STEM Networks serve as the local centers for building excitement and energy for students about potential futures in STEM careers.”

    “We must connect local industry and community organizations with schools to ensure that students are able to see the exciting opportunities in STEM fields in their region,” said Secretary of Education Jim Peyser. “The Regional STEM Networks play an invaluable role in promoting and expanding STEM opportunities for students in collaboration with employer partners and local colleges and universities.”

    The fiscal year (FY) 2017 grant for the Regional STEM Networks included incentives for collaboration across regions as well as for aligning focus areas with STEM Advisory Council priorities.

    Those priorities include:

    • Expanding work-based learning opportunities for high school students, particularly in STEM fields;
    • Developing and implementing models of STEM Early College Career Pathways; and
    • Broadening access to computer science and engineering courses.

    The fiscal year (FY) 2017 funding from the Commonwealth’s STEM Pipeline Fund will support Regional STEM Networks across the state, including:

    • Berkshire County & Pioneer Valley: MA College of Liberal Arts will serve as the host of the Regional STEM Network, and will collaborate with education, community and industry partners across the Berkshire County and the Pioneer Valley, including Holyoke Community College.
    • Boston & Metro North: The Boston Private Industry Council (PIC) will join with the Metro North Regional Employment Board as the lead institutions to coordinate and promote STEM activities among education, community, and industry leaders in Boston and in the communities in Metro North, including Revere, Everett, Chelsea, and Lynn.
    • Central Massachusetts & Metrowest: Worcester Polytechnic Institute will serve as the lead institution to promote STEM education in Central Massachusetts while also collaborating with Framingham State University, community partners and employers in Metrowest to expand the reach of that Regional Network.
    • Southeast Massachusetts & Cape Cod: Bridgewater State University and Cape Cod Community College will collaborate to build a coordinated Regional STEM Network.

    Photo courtesy Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

  • campers in Engineering Professor Paul Chanley’s class give a thumb’s up at the end of their day at Technology Camp

    Students Get Taste of STEM Options During
    Northern Essex Community College Technology Camp

    Students ages 12-15 learn about science, technology, engineering and math in a three-week camp funded by the STEM Starter Academy grant

    On Thursday they cooked s’mores in solar ovens made from shoe boxes.

    Last  week, students in Northern Essex Community College’s first Technology Academy, measured their carbon footprint by cooking Pop Tarts – strawberry and brown sugar cinnamon.

    These are just two of the many science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) exercises that the 34 Haverhill, Lawrence, and North Andover students have participated in during the three-week technology camp funded by the STEM Starter Academy Grant.

    The intent of the camp is to familiarize students in grades seven through 10 to the principles of science, technology, engineering and math, as well introduce them to a college campus and its faculty. Divided into groups with catchy STEM names like the Algorithms, the Pixels, and the Microscopes, they have attended two, 90-minute sessions with a break in between, Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m..

    The grant, from the Massachusetts Department of Education’s STEM Starter Academy, which is an initiative of the 15 Massachusetts community colleges to inform, engage, recruit, retain, and graduate more students in science, technology, engineering, and math, through STEM Pathway programs leading to job placement or transfer to university STEM programs.

    The attention to STEM seems to be working.

    In Room 130 of the Hartleb Technology Center on the Haverhill campus, Engineering Professor Paul Chanley, wearing a straw fedora, was bent over a piece of graph paper. Campers Ryan, Ruben, and Esmerelda intently followed his red pencil as he reviewed the data they collected and plotted to find the slope to compare to Ohm’s Law.

    The students, ages 12 to 15, said Chanley, are attentive and interested. The very age group the initiative is trying to target.

    Ryan Brito, 13, of Lawrence, said he enjoys the camp because of the many activities.

    “It makes the day fun. If I wasn’t here, I would have nothing to do,” he said. “I’m thankful for the opportunity.”

    Zechariah Richardson, 15, also of Lawrence, echoed his sentiment.

    “It’s been really fun,” he said. “We can’t do this kind of thing at home or anywhere in Lawrence. If I wasn’t here I would probably be sleeping.”

    “This has been a great learning experience,” said Licinia Russo, 13 of Lawrence. “I’m doing things here that I would never be doing at school like using the 3D printer and processing crime scenes.”

    Next door in Room 136 Engineering Professor Mike Pelletier’s campers measured the speed of sound.

    “You have to be a certain kind of student to dedicate three weeks to a technology camp,” Pelletier said.

    “We were looking for an opportunity to connect with this age group of kids in our service area,” said Carolyn Knoepfler, assistant dean of science, technology, engineering and advanced manufacturing.  “The camp is twofold. The students are exposed to STEM ideas like 3D printing and forensic science with the opportunity to visit a real college campus and connect with faculty.”

    The students were recruited for the camp via flyers distributed to area charter schools, Boys and Girls’ clubs, and YMCAs. To keep the students engaged, Knoepfler said, she hopes to arrange additional visits during the school year and hold the technology academy in July next year.

    The entire camp experience including transportation by bus from the Dimitry Building in Lawrence, to supplies, and snacks is funded by the STEM Starter Academy Grant.

    Students were taught by some of Northern Essex’s most seasoned faculty including Jay Fallon, Jason DeCosta, Mike Pelletier, Mike Cross, Paul Cavan, and Mike Penta with assistance by NECC student mentors.

    The parents of the campers were just as excited about the Technology Camp.

    “Any time you get children on college campuses is time well spent,” said Knoepfler. “It’s good for them to know what college is about and that it’s a comfortable environment to be in. They can begin to imagine ‘who they can be’.”

    The camp culminates Thursday, August 18, with a magic show by Professor Mike Cross followed by a cookout.

    For more photos and information:
    Students Get Taste of STEM Options During Technology Camp - Northern Essex Community College Newsroom

  • Two students look at equipment in a science classroom

    MA Life Sciences Center Announces STEM Equipment and Supplies Grant Program for High Schools

    High Schools can apply for grants of up to $250,000 for equipment or $10,000 for teacher development.

    The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) is pleased to announce the launch of the fifth round of the STEM Equipment and Supplies Grant Program, which awards public high schools and middle schools grants that enable the purchase of equipment and supplies. The program also seeks to increase student achievement and student interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), as well as support the implementation of state STEM standards. The program has previously awarded more than $12 million to high schools and middle schools throughout Massachusetts and leveraged more than $1 million in matching funds from the life sciences industry.

    Applicants must request funding to purchase equipment and/or supplies to support STEM education that prepares students with the skills needed for future employment in the life sciences. The “life sciences” are defined in the MLSC’s enabling legislation as “advanced and applied sciences that expand the understanding of human physiology and have the potential to lead to medical advances or therapeutic applications.” Requested equipment and/or supplies must be used to support science (e.g. biology, chemistry, physics), technology (e.g. robotics, computer science, etc.), engineering, and/or math education and training.

    High school applicants can request grant funding of up to $100,000; or up to $250,000 provided that any amount over $100,000 is matched one-for-one by an industry partner that supports the training program for which the equipment and supplies are needed. Middle school applicants can request grant funding of up to $50,000.

    New this year, the program offers additional funding of up to $10,000 for teacher professional development to ensure that all recipient schools have teachers that are trained to use the equipment and have access to relevant curricula that deploys the equipment in labs and activities that support learning goals throughout the academic year.

    Applications must be submitted by 12:00 p.m. on October 6, 2016. 

Go Higher! Discover Your Community Colleges, State Universities & UMass Campuses

  • Go Higher Logo

    What is Go Higher?

    Go Higher! promotes college readiness and raises awareness of the growing number of outstanding programs and opportunities available to students at our community colleges, state universities and UMass campuses.

    Go Higher! is a campaign by the Department of Higher Education, in partnership with Massachusetts' 29 public colleges and universities, to raise awareness of the growing number of outstanding programs and opportunities available to students at our community colleges, state universities and UMass campuses.

  • Students work together at a laptop

    UMass Amherst gets $15 million for cybersecurity program

    University of Massachusetts Amherst’s computer science programs are about to enjoy a growth spurt, thanks to a $15 million grant from a foundation established by the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co.

    University of Massachusetts Amherst’s computer science programs are about to enjoy a growth spurt, thanks to a $15 million grant from a foundation established by the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., better known as MassMutual.

    The MassMutual Foundation will donate the money over 10 years, with $12 million going to the university’s Center for Data Science. The center, founded last year, studies methods for analyzing vast amounts of information about complex systems. Insights from data science can be applied to almost any area of knowledge, from retailing to medicine to national security.

    Another $3 million will go to the university’sCybersecurity Institute, which will launch a new security training center in Springfield, where MassMutual is located. The center will offer a certification program in cybersecurity, where students can boost their network security skills without having to complete a four-year degree program.

    “We’re going to be using that money to jumpstart faculty hiring,” said UMass Amherst chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy, who said the faculty roster at the two facilities would be boosted to 40 members from its current 20. Subbaswamy said the university has already received the first tranche of funding and “we’re hiring faculty even as we speak.”

    Andrew McCallum, director of the Center for Data Science, said MassMutual may have been swayed to provide the money by its success in hiring UMass data scientists. “MassMutual hired some of our Ph.D students,” said McCallum, “and they were seeing tremendously positive results.”

    Nick Fyntrilakis, president of the MassMutual Foundation, said UMass Amherst is already a nationally recognized leader in data science and cybersecurity. “This gift really helps take us to the next level,” he said. In addition, Fyntrilakis said the grant would benefit the entire Pioneer Valley economy, by providing an ample supply of trained data scientists.

    UMass gets $15m for cybersecurity program - The Boston Globe

  • American Bureau of Shipping Information Commons - photo of building

    Massachusetts Maritime Academy First in Commonwealth System to Achieve LEED® Platinum Certification

    Mass Maritime's American Bureau of Shipping Information Commons is the first of the state's public college and university buildings to be awarded Platinum, the highest level of LEED certification

    This is the first LEED Platinum building in the commonwealth’s college and university system. The ABS Information Commons is home to the Academy’s Academic Resource Center, 360º bridge simulator, library and archives collection, and classroom and meeting space. The project achieved LEED certification for implementing practical and measurable solutions in the following:

    Energy efficiency – heating and cooling generated by a 48-well, closed loop, geothermal heat pump, electricity provided through 103kW, rooftop, solar photovoltaic array and procurement of wind energy renewable energy credits, use of daylighting, motion sensors and LED lamps, and chilled beam HVAC system. The building is designed to run at least 35% more efficient than standard construction.

    Innovation and design – the building utilizes a sloped roof specifically designed for solar photovoltaics.nThe sloped roof also allows for maximum wind flow over the building that improves performance of thenAcademy’s wind turbine. A rotund column inside the building effectively provides space for the Academy’s bridge simulator that trains cadets on the operation and handling of vessels, while other spaces in the column are used for academic resources. Water conservation – restrooms are equipped with low flow fixtures. The sloped roof allows for flow of rainwater to a bio-swale that provides habitat for flora and fauna; no irrigation is provided.

    Construction materials selection – framework constructed of 100% recycled steel, concrete comprised of 20% recycled content, insulation made from 40% recycled materials, and use of rapidly renewable wood.

    Sustainable site selection – the building was placed on a former parking area and did not replace existing or open green space. The building is elevated above flood levels as measure of resiliency.

    Vice President of Operations, Paul O’Keefe, stated, “The Academy takes pride in being the first Massachusetts state college/university to achieve LEED Platinum. This accomplishment is one of many the Academy has taken to be a leader in sustainability and environmental stewardship. We are looking forward to continuing this process and providing a learn-do- learn environment for our cadets.”

    The ABS Information Commons is the third LEED certified building on campus and joins the LEED Gold 1st and 2nd Company Dormitory Expansion completed in 2008 and the LEED Silver 4th Company Expansion completed in 2014.

    The LEED rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is the foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.

    Leading LEEDS - Mass Maritime News

  • Photo of MCLA Campus

    MCLA joins with Western New England University to offer law degree path

    Accelerated 3+3 program will save students a year's worth of time and tuition

    After a new agreement with Western New England University announced on Tuesday, the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts has positioned itself as a launch pad for students interested in a law degree.

    In what is termed a "three plus three" agreement between the two schools, a qualified undergraduate student can leave MCLA after three years of coursework to attend Western New England University, where he or she will be on-track to receive a Juris Doctor Degree.

    Typically, a student would receive a Juris Doctor after seven years of college education — four as an undergraduate and three in law school.

    "We are pleased to sign this agreement with the Western New England University School of Law," MCLA President James Birge said. "This 3+3 arrangement will attract qualified and ambitious undergraduate students who seek a career in law. An accelerated course of study, this program will save them one year's worth of time and tuition as it maintains high academic standards and provides a challenging and comprehensive curriculum."

    MCLA joins with Western New England University to offer law degree path - The Berkshire Eagle

  • BHCC Men's Basketball point guard Elijah Rogers, right, battles down the court in the MCCAA statewide championship game last weekend.

    Bunker Hill Community College Men's Basketball Team Wins State Championship

    For the first time in 11 years, the Bunker Hill Community College Men's Basketball team has won the Massachusetts Community College Athletic Association statewide championship.

    During the season the Bulldogs sustained a ten-game winning streak, secured wins against the New England powerhouse Community College of Rhode Island for the first time in the College's history, and rose to 8th position in Division III of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) rankings.

    BHCC Men's Basketball players David Stewart and Elijah Rogers made the all-region team, as did Fredens Deneus, whose impressive credentials made him a candidate for the NJCAA All-American team as well. Deneus ranks second in the U.S. in field goals and seventh in rebounds.

    "This year's win is the first post-season title for the Bulldogs since 2005," said an ecstatic Nkrumah Jones, an alumnus of both BHCC and the Men's Basketball team, who is now in his fifth year as Men's Basketball coach at the College. "We were in first place the whole season, and remain confident in our ability to continue our dominance," Jones said. 

    Winning the title will draw more recruits to BHCC, Jones added.  He pointed out that, in a season of firsts, the MCCAC title was the first basketball championship to be won in the College's own gym. The gym is part of the College's newest structure, a LEED-Gold building that went up just six years ago.

    Bunker Hill Community College Men's Basketball Team Wins State Championship - Yahoo News

    PHOTO: BHCC Men's Basketball point guard Elijah Rogers, right, battles down the court in the MCCAA statewide championship game last weekend.

Building Student Interest in STEM

  • SSA Student shows Lieutenant Gov. Polito a project she's working on.

    Governor Baker and State Officials Visit Bunker Hill Community College STEM Starter Academy

    Governor Baker, Lieutenant Governor Polito, House Speaker DeLeo, Education Secretary Peyser and Higher Education Commissioner Santiago observed and engaged with two classrooms during their visit.

    Top state officials got a chance to visit the first day of the STEM Starter Academy at Bunker Hill Community College on Monday, August 22, 2016.

    Many enrolled in the STEM Starter Academy are Chelsea High School students from BHCC’s TRiO Chelsea program, which helps students complete college coursework while still in high school. With thirty-five percent of TRiO graduates intending to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields, the STEM Starter Academy is a great way to help jump-start students’ major-specific courses, allowing them to complete their degree programs on time or even early.


    Photo courtesy Bunker Hill Community College.

  • Three students gather around a microscope in a lab. Photo courtesy Bridgewater State University.

    Baker-Polito Administration Awards $260,000 to Promote STEM Education

    Grant awards will support the Commonwealth’s Regional STEM Networks.

    The Baker-Polito Administration today announced over $250,000 in grant awards to support the Commonwealth’s Regional STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Networks.

    Begun in 2004, the state’s Regional STEM Networks, often hosted by institutions of higher education, serve as hubs for connecting educators, community leaders and industry partners to further excite and energize students about opportunities in STEM subjects. These networks are among the longest standing STEM Networks in the country.

    “I thank all of our STEM Network partners who are working to help meet the future needs of our rapidly changing economy and bolster skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our collective efforts continue to increase engagement in and raise awareness about the importance of STEM education both for our economy and the new opportunities it creates for our young people.” 

    “Capturing students’ interest in learning about and working in STEM careers is critical for our economy,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, a co-chair of the STEM Advisory Council. “These Regional STEM Networks serve as the local centers for building excitement and energy for students about potential futures in STEM careers.”

    “We must connect local industry and community organizations with schools to ensure that students are able to see the exciting opportunities in STEM fields in their region,” said Secretary of Education Jim Peyser. “The Regional STEM Networks play an invaluable role in promoting and expanding STEM opportunities for students in collaboration with employer partners and local colleges and universities.”

    The fiscal year (FY) 2017 grant for the Regional STEM Networks included incentives for collaboration across regions as well as for aligning focus areas with STEM Advisory Council priorities.

    Those priorities include:

    • Expanding work-based learning opportunities for high school students, particularly in STEM fields;
    • Developing and implementing models of STEM Early College Career Pathways; and
    • Broadening access to computer science and engineering courses.

    The fiscal year (FY) 2017 funding from the Commonwealth’s STEM Pipeline Fund will support Regional STEM Networks across the state, including:

    • Berkshire County & Pioneer Valley: MA College of Liberal Arts will serve as the host of the Regional STEM Network, and will collaborate with education, community and industry partners across the Berkshire County and the Pioneer Valley, including Holyoke Community College.
    • Boston & Metro North: The Boston Private Industry Council (PIC) will join with the Metro North Regional Employment Board as the lead institutions to coordinate and promote STEM activities among education, community, and industry leaders in Boston and in the communities in Metro North, including Revere, Everett, Chelsea, and Lynn.
    • Central Massachusetts & Metrowest: Worcester Polytechnic Institute will serve as the lead institution to promote STEM education in Central Massachusetts while also collaborating with Framingham State University, community partners and employers in Metrowest to expand the reach of that Regional Network.
    • Southeast Massachusetts & Cape Cod: Bridgewater State University and Cape Cod Community College will collaborate to build a coordinated Regional STEM Network.

    Photo courtesy Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

  • campers in Engineering Professor Paul Chanley’s class give a thumb’s up at the end of their day at Technology Camp

    Students Get Taste of STEM Options During
    Northern Essex Community College Technology Camp

    Students ages 12-15 learn about science, technology, engineering and math in a three-week camp funded by the STEM Starter Academy grant

    On Thursday they cooked s’mores in solar ovens made from shoe boxes.

    Last  week, students in Northern Essex Community College’s first Technology Academy, measured their carbon footprint by cooking Pop Tarts – strawberry and brown sugar cinnamon.

    These are just two of the many science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) exercises that the 34 Haverhill, Lawrence, and North Andover students have participated in during the three-week technology camp funded by the STEM Starter Academy Grant.

    The intent of the camp is to familiarize students in grades seven through 10 to the principles of science, technology, engineering and math, as well introduce them to a college campus and its faculty. Divided into groups with catchy STEM names like the Algorithms, the Pixels, and the Microscopes, they have attended two, 90-minute sessions with a break in between, Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m..

    The grant, from the Massachusetts Department of Education’s STEM Starter Academy, which is an initiative of the 15 Massachusetts community colleges to inform, engage, recruit, retain, and graduate more students in science, technology, engineering, and math, through STEM Pathway programs leading to job placement or transfer to university STEM programs.

    The attention to STEM seems to be working.

    In Room 130 of the Hartleb Technology Center on the Haverhill campus, Engineering Professor Paul Chanley, wearing a straw fedora, was bent over a piece of graph paper. Campers Ryan, Ruben, and Esmerelda intently followed his red pencil as he reviewed the data they collected and plotted to find the slope to compare to Ohm’s Law.

    The students, ages 12 to 15, said Chanley, are attentive and interested. The very age group the initiative is trying to target.

    Ryan Brito, 13, of Lawrence, said he enjoys the camp because of the many activities.

    “It makes the day fun. If I wasn’t here, I would have nothing to do,” he said. “I’m thankful for the opportunity.”

    Zechariah Richardson, 15, also of Lawrence, echoed his sentiment.

    “It’s been really fun,” he said. “We can’t do this kind of thing at home or anywhere in Lawrence. If I wasn’t here I would probably be sleeping.”

    “This has been a great learning experience,” said Licinia Russo, 13 of Lawrence. “I’m doing things here that I would never be doing at school like using the 3D printer and processing crime scenes.”

    Next door in Room 136 Engineering Professor Mike Pelletier’s campers measured the speed of sound.

    “You have to be a certain kind of student to dedicate three weeks to a technology camp,” Pelletier said.

    “We were looking for an opportunity to connect with this age group of kids in our service area,” said Carolyn Knoepfler, assistant dean of science, technology, engineering and advanced manufacturing.  “The camp is twofold. The students are exposed to STEM ideas like 3D printing and forensic science with the opportunity to visit a real college campus and connect with faculty.”

    The students were recruited for the camp via flyers distributed to area charter schools, Boys and Girls’ clubs, and YMCAs. To keep the students engaged, Knoepfler said, she hopes to arrange additional visits during the school year and hold the technology academy in July next year.

    The entire camp experience including transportation by bus from the Dimitry Building in Lawrence, to supplies, and snacks is funded by the STEM Starter Academy Grant.

    Students were taught by some of Northern Essex’s most seasoned faculty including Jay Fallon, Jason DeCosta, Mike Pelletier, Mike Cross, Paul Cavan, and Mike Penta with assistance by NECC student mentors.

    The parents of the campers were just as excited about the Technology Camp.

    “Any time you get children on college campuses is time well spent,” said Knoepfler. “It’s good for them to know what college is about and that it’s a comfortable environment to be in. They can begin to imagine ‘who they can be’.”

    The camp culminates Thursday, August 18, with a magic show by Professor Mike Cross followed by a cookout.

    For more photos and information:
    Students Get Taste of STEM Options During Technology Camp - Northern Essex Community College Newsroom

  • Two students look at equipment in a science classroom

    MA Life Sciences Center Announces STEM Equipment and Supplies Grant Program for High Schools

    High Schools can apply for grants of up to $250,000 for equipment or $10,000 for teacher development.

    The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) is pleased to announce the launch of the fifth round of the STEM Equipment and Supplies Grant Program, which awards public high schools and middle schools grants that enable the purchase of equipment and supplies. The program also seeks to increase student achievement and student interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), as well as support the implementation of state STEM standards. The program has previously awarded more than $12 million to high schools and middle schools throughout Massachusetts and leveraged more than $1 million in matching funds from the life sciences industry.

    Applicants must request funding to purchase equipment and/or supplies to support STEM education that prepares students with the skills needed for future employment in the life sciences. The “life sciences” are defined in the MLSC’s enabling legislation as “advanced and applied sciences that expand the understanding of human physiology and have the potential to lead to medical advances or therapeutic applications.” Requested equipment and/or supplies must be used to support science (e.g. biology, chemistry, physics), technology (e.g. robotics, computer science, etc.), engineering, and/or math education and training.

    High school applicants can request grant funding of up to $100,000; or up to $250,000 provided that any amount over $100,000 is matched one-for-one by an industry partner that supports the training program for which the equipment and supplies are needed. Middle school applicants can request grant funding of up to $50,000.

    New this year, the program offers additional funding of up to $10,000 for teacher professional development to ensure that all recipient schools have teachers that are trained to use the equipment and have access to relevant curricula that deploys the equipment in labs and activities that support learning goals throughout the academic year.

    Applications must be submitted by 12:00 p.m. on October 6, 2016.