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

Building Student Interest in STEM

  • 2017 STEM Summit logo

    2017 STEM Summit Call for Sessions and Exhibits

    Submit session and exhibit proposals on this year's theme, "Progress Through Partnership"

    The organizers of the Massachusetts STEM Summit are pleased to announce the launch of the 2017 Call for Sessions and Exhibits.

    The theme for this year's Summit - Progress Through Partnership - celebrates the rich tradition of creative collaboration that has been the hallmark of the Commonwealth's powerful STEM movement since its earliest inception. Over the years, the Summit has presented countless examples of initiatives in which partners from diverse sectors have come together to leverage each others' complementary strengths, expertise, and resources. These cooperative efforts have yielded innovative, dynamic, and effective STEM programs for in-school and out-of-school education, and workforce development.

    Both sessions and exhibit proposals are encouraged to highlight these cooperative efforts. Whether large or small, statewide or local, public or private, partnerships of diverse stakeholders remain crucial to the state's continued STEM success. Throughout this year's Summit - through talks, presentations and exhibits - we look to showcase many more of these unique partnerships and their exciting, cutting-edge programs and collaborations.

    However, please note that this is not at all a requirement; proposals on topics not involving partnerships are equally encouraged.

    Proposals for Breakout Sessions and Resource Exhibits may address any of the Summit's topical strands:

    • Early Education
    • Higher Education
    • K-12 Education
    • Workforce and Business

    Guidelines for the preparation and submission of proposals, as well as the proposal forms, can be downloaded from the Summit website.

  • Cape Cod STEM Network logo

    900 Students from 16 Schools Attend Cape Cod Regional STEM Network's 'Egghead Helmet Experiment'

    The egg-drop challenges are designed to encourage students to think like engineers while learning about the dangers of concussions

    February 3, 2017 – In recent days, STEM education on Cape Cod sounded like eggs breaking - hundreds of eggs.

    More than 900 students from 16 schools on the Cape - and one in the Dominican Republic - participated in egg-drop challenges that saw them pushing carefully wrapped raw eggs off platforms at intervals of 1, 2, 3 and 4 feet.

    Called the Egghead Helmet Experiment, the project was sponsored by the Cape Cod Regional STEM Network and designed to encourage students to think like engineers while learning about the dangers of concussions.

    Each student or student team received an egg-protection kit consisting of pipe cleaners, a straw, string, a tissue, a napkin and a bit of bubble wrap.

    It was up to them to figure how to best use the materials - contained in a plastic cup "helmet" - to protect the eggs from cracking and smashing.

    "It challenges students to think beyond their regular classes," said Fran Laporte, who teaches seventh- and eighth-grades classes in entrepreneurship, engineering and digital citizenship at Mashpee Middle-High School.

    Continute reading: Egg-drop troupe tests engineering skills – Cape Cod Times

    Learn more about Cape Cod STEM Education: Cape Cod Regional STEM Network

  • Group photo from the announcement of the New Skills Grant on January 11, 2017

    Massachusetts Awarded $2 Million to Improve Career Education

    Commonwealth among recipients of New Skills for Youth grant from JPMorgan Chase and CCSSO

    The Baker-Polito Administration announced today that the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. have selected Massachusetts as one of 10 states to receive a $1.95 million grant to strengthen and expand high-quality career-education pathways for students.

    The grant, which will be distributed over the next three years, is part of the $75 million, five-year New Skills for Youth initiative developed by JPMorgan Chase in collaboration with CCSSO and Advance CTE and aims to strengthen career-focused education starting in high school and ending with postsecondary degrees and/or industry-recognized credentials aligned with high-skill jobs.

    "Our administration has focused on aligning our K-12 schools and higher education system with the needs of our workforce so that our students, employers, and communities will share a stronger future," said Governor Charlie Baker. "Lieutenant Governor Polito and I are honored that Massachusetts and the potential of our students will be recognized through this grant." 

    "We thank JPMorgan, the Council of Chief State School Officers and other partners who have helped make this grant award possible," said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. "This New Skills for Youth grant complements our administration's prioritization of STEM-focused career education by developing more high-quality pathway programs and expanding the number of students who graduate from high school with college credits and real world experience."

    "This important grant opportunity comes at an optimal time for the Commonwealth and perfectly aligns with our administration's career and technical education priorities for Massachusetts in this and coming years," said Secretary of Education Jim Peyser. "Creating high-quality career pathways will not only offer our students and their families more opportunities to succeed in school and in their careers, but also help strengthen the Massachusetts economy."

    "Constant changes in technology and globalization make it imperative for the Commonwealth to increase opportunities for skill acquisition for all our students," Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Ronald L. Walker, II, said. "This grant will help us continue the work of creating effective career on-ramps for younger workers through education pathways."

    "I am thrilled that Massachusetts students will be among the beneficiaries of this grant," said Massachusetts Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester. "I look forward to continuing our collaboration with educators and industry to set students on a clear path toward their own career goals."

    "This grant will have enormous impact for some of our neediest students," said Higher Education Commissioner Carlos E. Santiago. "We owe it to them to make sure that career exposure and training is integrated into a robust curriculum that will give them what every employer demands – a full box of workplace-ready tools, including quantitative reasoning skills, critical thinking skills, and the ability to write well, to work as part of a team and to lead."

    Massachusetts has received the grant from CCSSO for the New Skills for Youth initiative after a rigorous review process, which included examination of the state's plan to transform the process of designing and developing career preparedness education programs.

    This includes:

    • Launching a major competitive grant program to fund the creation of high-quality career pathways that fully prepare students for high-skill, high-wage careers; 
    • Developing a comprehensive career advisement system in partnership with the Massachusetts School Counselors Association so that all students can make more informed college and career choices; and
    • Creating clear guidelines to help high schools develop and implement high-quality career pathways that will better prepare students for success after graduation.

    "Preparing our youth for high-quality and in-demand careers is critical to the future strength of our communities," said Rick MacDonald, head of commercial banking in New England for JPMorgan Chase. "This investment will help to open more career pathways and give more young people the chance to learn, compete, and succeed." 

    "Bunker Hill Community College is committed to creating clear pathways to fulfilling careers for our students," said Bunker Hill Community College President Pam Eddinger, whose institution participated on the state team applying for the grant"This grant will allow us to continue this important work through our partnerships with local businesses and corporations and well as high schools."

    "As an employer, I know how critical career-focused education is, and it has been exciting to be part of the team pursuing this grant," said Susan Coghlin Mailman, president of Coghlin Electric Contractors, Inc. "I appreciate the coordinated effort that our state is putting forth in order to strengthen opportunities for our youth which will ultimately create a stronger and more qualified work force."

    In March 2016, JPMorgan Chase and CCSSO awarded Massachusetts a $100,000 grant as part of the first phase of the New Skills for Youth initiative for planning and early implementation of long-term career readiness education programs that align with the needs of employers. Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia received Phase I grants.

    The grant awarded today represents the second phase of the New Skills for Youth initiative, which provides 10 of the original 24 recipients with funding to execute the career-readiness plans they developed during the first phase.

  • Shutterstock photo from Boston Globe

    Training the Next Generation in Science and Technology

    Read the Op-Ed by Karyn Polito, Joe Kennedy III and Jeffrey Leiden in the Boston Globe about the importance of exploring STEM careers in high school

    When Glady Baez came to her Vertex Pharmaceuticals internship as a high school junior, she was uncertain of her future. While she was interested in science and business, she didn’t know the range of career options possible.

    During Glady’s paid internship at Vertex, she and her class of 30 high school interns worked alongside scientists steeped in research on cystic fibrosis and other diseases. The experience sparked her imagination in science and propelled her down a track that, three years later, has her feet firmly planted as a biology major at UMass Boston. She is the first in her family to go to college.

    Glady’s internship at one of the nation’s most dynamic biotech companies opened doors too often closed to high school students, especially females and students of color. The dearth of similar opportunities not only prevents promising young people from excelling in deeply rewarding careers, it stymies our economic growth.

    Keeping Massachusetts competitive requires a workforce that excels in science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM. More than 40 percent of the Commonwealth’s economy centers on jobs in STEM fields, including advanced manufacturing, information technology, and biotech.

    Massachusetts has more open positions in these fields than employees to fill them, a void that threatens our economic drivers. Industry analysts and CEOs repeatedly identify this gap as the single greatest challenge facing the Commonwealth’s STEM economy.

    Massachusetts isn’t alone. Across the country, states with strong technology, biotech, medical, and engineering economies struggle to provide employers with educated, work-ready employees. And STEM readiness has global implications: There is an international race to create a highly skilled workforce capable of driving an increasingly innovation-centered world.

    That is why it’s so important that students like Glady have opportunities to learn about STEM careers. And that is why we’re making a simple but powerful ask of Massachusetts businesses: Hire at least one high school student for a STEM internship.

    Continues on BostonGlobe.com >

  • Students Participate in BU Inspiration Ambassadors program in partnership with AT&T

    New Report Highlights Business-Education Partnerships

    A new report released by the Massachusetts Business Roundtable, “Shaping the Future Workforce,” showcases partnerships businesses have created with public schools, community colleges and universities.

    The report features best practices and key drivers of success to engage and inspire the next generation of workers in three categories: 1) Engaging & Inspiring the Future Workforce; 2) Targeted Curriculum & Training Partnerships to produce workers with the skills they need most; and 3) Advancement Opportunities for Current Workers.

    Business leaders consistently cite five common drivers of success that apply to partnerships yielding the best outcomes. These themes offer a foundation for policy makers and educators to develop and scale future initiatives:

    • Adaptability. Adapting the goals of the program over time enables both businesses and educational institutions to evolve to meet changing needs, thus increasing the likelihood of the success;
    • Responsiveness. Acknowledging and being responsive to the different needs of students is necessary to ensure the maximum number of students are able to complete the program;
    • Accountability. Empirically measuring outcomes of these partnerships (i.e. completion rates, costs, attendance) allows for concrete analysis on the program’s impact;
    • Affordability. Emphasizing low cost is incredibly important to maximize the number of students able to participate thus increasing the impact of the program; and,
    • Leadership. Commitment by senior-level leadership is imperative and leads to a mutually beneficial partnership

    Photo: Students Participate in BU Inspiration Ambassadors program in partnership with AT&T. Credit Cydney Scott

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

Building Student Interest in STEM

  • 2017 STEM Summit logo

    2017 STEM Summit Call for Sessions and Exhibits

    Submit session and exhibit proposals on this year's theme, "Progress Through Partnership"

    The organizers of the Massachusetts STEM Summit are pleased to announce the launch of the 2017 Call for Sessions and Exhibits.

    The theme for this year's Summit - Progress Through Partnership - celebrates the rich tradition of creative collaboration that has been the hallmark of the Commonwealth's powerful STEM movement since its earliest inception. Over the years, the Summit has presented countless examples of initiatives in which partners from diverse sectors have come together to leverage each others' complementary strengths, expertise, and resources. These cooperative efforts have yielded innovative, dynamic, and effective STEM programs for in-school and out-of-school education, and workforce development.

    Both sessions and exhibit proposals are encouraged to highlight these cooperative efforts. Whether large or small, statewide or local, public or private, partnerships of diverse stakeholders remain crucial to the state's continued STEM success. Throughout this year's Summit - through talks, presentations and exhibits - we look to showcase many more of these unique partnerships and their exciting, cutting-edge programs and collaborations.

    However, please note that this is not at all a requirement; proposals on topics not involving partnerships are equally encouraged.

    Proposals for Breakout Sessions and Resource Exhibits may address any of the Summit's topical strands:

    • Early Education
    • Higher Education
    • K-12 Education
    • Workforce and Business

    Guidelines for the preparation and submission of proposals, as well as the proposal forms, can be downloaded from the Summit website.

  • Cape Cod STEM Network logo

    900 Students from 16 Schools Attend Cape Cod Regional STEM Network's 'Egghead Helmet Experiment'

    The egg-drop challenges are designed to encourage students to think like engineers while learning about the dangers of concussions

    February 3, 2017 – In recent days, STEM education on Cape Cod sounded like eggs breaking - hundreds of eggs.

    More than 900 students from 16 schools on the Cape - and one in the Dominican Republic - participated in egg-drop challenges that saw them pushing carefully wrapped raw eggs off platforms at intervals of 1, 2, 3 and 4 feet.

    Called the Egghead Helmet Experiment, the project was sponsored by the Cape Cod Regional STEM Network and designed to encourage students to think like engineers while learning about the dangers of concussions.

    Each student or student team received an egg-protection kit consisting of pipe cleaners, a straw, string, a tissue, a napkin and a bit of bubble wrap.

    It was up to them to figure how to best use the materials - contained in a plastic cup "helmet" - to protect the eggs from cracking and smashing.

    "It challenges students to think beyond their regular classes," said Fran Laporte, who teaches seventh- and eighth-grades classes in entrepreneurship, engineering and digital citizenship at Mashpee Middle-High School.

    Continute reading: Egg-drop troupe tests engineering skills – Cape Cod Times

    Learn more about Cape Cod STEM Education: Cape Cod Regional STEM Network

  • Group photo from the announcement of the New Skills Grant on January 11, 2017

    Massachusetts Awarded $2 Million to Improve Career Education

    Commonwealth among recipients of New Skills for Youth grant from JPMorgan Chase and CCSSO

    The Baker-Polito Administration announced today that the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. have selected Massachusetts as one of 10 states to receive a $1.95 million grant to strengthen and expand high-quality career-education pathways for students.

    The grant, which will be distributed over the next three years, is part of the $75 million, five-year New Skills for Youth initiative developed by JPMorgan Chase in collaboration with CCSSO and Advance CTE and aims to strengthen career-focused education starting in high school and ending with postsecondary degrees and/or industry-recognized credentials aligned with high-skill jobs.

    "Our administration has focused on aligning our K-12 schools and higher education system with the needs of our workforce so that our students, employers, and communities will share a stronger future," said Governor Charlie Baker. "Lieutenant Governor Polito and I are honored that Massachusetts and the potential of our students will be recognized through this grant." 

    "We thank JPMorgan, the Council of Chief State School Officers and other partners who have helped make this grant award possible," said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. "This New Skills for Youth grant complements our administration's prioritization of STEM-focused career education by developing more high-quality pathway programs and expanding the number of students who graduate from high school with college credits and real world experience."

    "This important grant opportunity comes at an optimal time for the Commonwealth and perfectly aligns with our administration's career and technical education priorities for Massachusetts in this and coming years," said Secretary of Education Jim Peyser. "Creating high-quality career pathways will not only offer our students and their families more opportunities to succeed in school and in their careers, but also help strengthen the Massachusetts economy."

    "Constant changes in technology and globalization make it imperative for the Commonwealth to increase opportunities for skill acquisition for all our students," Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Ronald L. Walker, II, said. "This grant will help us continue the work of creating effective career on-ramps for younger workers through education pathways."

    "I am thrilled that Massachusetts students will be among the beneficiaries of this grant," said Massachusetts Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester. "I look forward to continuing our collaboration with educators and industry to set students on a clear path toward their own career goals."

    "This grant will have enormous impact for some of our neediest students," said Higher Education Commissioner Carlos E. Santiago. "We owe it to them to make sure that career exposure and training is integrated into a robust curriculum that will give them what every employer demands – a full box of workplace-ready tools, including quantitative reasoning skills, critical thinking skills, and the ability to write well, to work as part of a team and to lead."

    Massachusetts has received the grant from CCSSO for the New Skills for Youth initiative after a rigorous review process, which included examination of the state's plan to transform the process of designing and developing career preparedness education programs.

    This includes:

    • Launching a major competitive grant program to fund the creation of high-quality career pathways that fully prepare students for high-skill, high-wage careers; 
    • Developing a comprehensive career advisement system in partnership with the Massachusetts School Counselors Association so that all students can make more informed college and career choices; and
    • Creating clear guidelines to help high schools develop and implement high-quality career pathways that will better prepare students for success after graduation.

    "Preparing our youth for high-quality and in-demand careers is critical to the future strength of our communities," said Rick MacDonald, head of commercial banking in New England for JPMorgan Chase. "This investment will help to open more career pathways and give more young people the chance to learn, compete, and succeed." 

    "Bunker Hill Community College is committed to creating clear pathways to fulfilling careers for our students," said Bunker Hill Community College President Pam Eddinger, whose institution participated on the state team applying for the grant"This grant will allow us to continue this important work through our partnerships with local businesses and corporations and well as high schools."

    "As an employer, I know how critical career-focused education is, and it has been exciting to be part of the team pursuing this grant," said Susan Coghlin Mailman, president of Coghlin Electric Contractors, Inc. "I appreciate the coordinated effort that our state is putting forth in order to strengthen opportunities for our youth which will ultimately create a stronger and more qualified work force."

    In March 2016, JPMorgan Chase and CCSSO awarded Massachusetts a $100,000 grant as part of the first phase of the New Skills for Youth initiative for planning and early implementation of long-term career readiness education programs that align with the needs of employers. Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia received Phase I grants.

    The grant awarded today represents the second phase of the New Skills for Youth initiative, which provides 10 of the original 24 recipients with funding to execute the career-readiness plans they developed during the first phase.

  • Shutterstock photo from Boston Globe

    Training the Next Generation in Science and Technology

    Read the Op-Ed by Karyn Polito, Joe Kennedy III and Jeffrey Leiden in the Boston Globe about the importance of exploring STEM careers in high school

    When Glady Baez came to her Vertex Pharmaceuticals internship as a high school junior, she was uncertain of her future. While she was interested in science and business, she didn’t know the range of career options possible.

    During Glady’s paid internship at Vertex, she and her class of 30 high school interns worked alongside scientists steeped in research on cystic fibrosis and other diseases. The experience sparked her imagination in science and propelled her down a track that, three years later, has her feet firmly planted as a biology major at UMass Boston. She is the first in her family to go to college.

    Glady’s internship at one of the nation’s most dynamic biotech companies opened doors too often closed to high school students, especially females and students of color. The dearth of similar opportunities not only prevents promising young people from excelling in deeply rewarding careers, it stymies our economic growth.

    Keeping Massachusetts competitive requires a workforce that excels in science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM. More than 40 percent of the Commonwealth’s economy centers on jobs in STEM fields, including advanced manufacturing, information technology, and biotech.

    Massachusetts has more open positions in these fields than employees to fill them, a void that threatens our economic drivers. Industry analysts and CEOs repeatedly identify this gap as the single greatest challenge facing the Commonwealth’s STEM economy.

    Massachusetts isn’t alone. Across the country, states with strong technology, biotech, medical, and engineering economies struggle to provide employers with educated, work-ready employees. And STEM readiness has global implications: There is an international race to create a highly skilled workforce capable of driving an increasingly innovation-centered world.

    That is why it’s so important that students like Glady have opportunities to learn about STEM careers. And that is why we’re making a simple but powerful ask of Massachusetts businesses: Hire at least one high school student for a STEM internship.

    Continues on BostonGlobe.com >

  • Students Participate in BU Inspiration Ambassadors program in partnership with AT&T

    New Report Highlights Business-Education Partnerships

    A new report released by the Massachusetts Business Roundtable, “Shaping the Future Workforce,” showcases partnerships businesses have created with public schools, community colleges and universities.

    The report features best practices and key drivers of success to engage and inspire the next generation of workers in three categories: 1) Engaging & Inspiring the Future Workforce; 2) Targeted Curriculum & Training Partnerships to produce workers with the skills they need most; and 3) Advancement Opportunities for Current Workers.

    Business leaders consistently cite five common drivers of success that apply to partnerships yielding the best outcomes. These themes offer a foundation for policy makers and educators to develop and scale future initiatives:

    • Adaptability. Adapting the goals of the program over time enables both businesses and educational institutions to evolve to meet changing needs, thus increasing the likelihood of the success;
    • Responsiveness. Acknowledging and being responsive to the different needs of students is necessary to ensure the maximum number of students are able to complete the program;
    • Accountability. Empirically measuring outcomes of these partnerships (i.e. completion rates, costs, attendance) allows for concrete analysis on the program’s impact;
    • Affordability. Emphasizing low cost is incredibly important to maximize the number of students able to participate thus increasing the impact of the program; and,
    • Leadership. Commitment by senior-level leadership is imperative and leads to a mutually beneficial partnership

    Photo: Students Participate in BU Inspiration Ambassadors program in partnership with AT&T. Credit Cydney Scott