STEM Nexus: Connecting Massachusetts' STEM Community

What's New

  • STEM Career Accelerator Day: an initiative of STEMconnector

    Career Accelerator Day takes place October 19-23

    Career Accelerator Day is a national initiative to expose young people to STEM careers by partnering schools and industries.

    Career Accelerator Day (CAD) is a national initiative to expose young people to STEM careers by partnering schools and industries.  This year CAD  will take place from October 19-23.  Additional information can be viewed by downloading the two attachments.  If you are interested in either bringing a student group to your company or inquiring to see if your school group could visit a company, please contact Tim Edwards from STEMConnector at tim.edwards@stemconnector.org

    Additionally, if your school group cannot make it to a site, you can virtually share career experiences with students by exploring www.spark101.org, which is a partner of CAD and STEMConnector.

  • MWCC’s STEM Starter Summer Academy Gives Students Jump Start on College

    Mass. Department of Higher Education grant allows students to receive up to two free college courses, textbooks, a substantial stipend, academic support and tutoring.

    GARDNER - Along with typical summertime activities, Adam Leyenaar of Ayer spent the better part of the season getting a jump start on his college degree.

    A 2015 graduate of the Parker Charter School, Leyenaar was one of 16 area students participating in Mount Wachusett Community College’s eight-week STEM Starter Summer Academy. Students received up to two free college courses, textbooks, a substantial stipend, academic support and tutoring.

    “I want to be an immunologist, so I need a good background,” said Leyenaar, who plans to earn an associate degree in medical laboratory technology so he can work in the field while pursuing his bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
    Funded through a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, the STEM Starter Sumer Academy is open to high school graduates or qualifying MWCC students who place into college-level English and math courses and are enrolling in one of MWCC’s STEM majors in the fall.

    Qualifying MWCC STEM majors include allied health, biology, biotechnology, chemistry, computer information systems, fitness leadership and exercise science, medical laboratory technology, natural resources, physics and pre-engineering.

    Courses offered during the summer academy included intermediate algebra, introduction to functions and modeling, life science for allied health, anatomy and physiology I, general chemistry II and introduction to psychology. In addition to the coursework, students helped run experiments at Rapoport Lab at Harvard Medical School, visited AbbVie medical labs in Worcester, and toured the construction site of MWCC’s new STEM building, which will open in 2016. The students also participated in MWCC’s Summer Leadership Academy.

    “Our students have had an outstanding summer and are ready to continue their studies this fall with two courses already under their belt,” said Christine Davis, MWCC’s STEM Starter Academy recruiter. Students from more than 10 area towns enrolled in the rigorous program, and tackled classes in an accelerated format that will prepare them for their careers, she said.

    Many of the academy students are also recipients of STEM SET scholarships. These awards of up to $3,500 per year are available to qualifying STEM majors through a grant the college received from the National Science Foundation.
    Gardner resident Ifra Hassan, enrolled in MWCC’s liberal arts biological studies program with the goal of continuing her studies in medicine and become a doctor. Hassan said she chose the college for its supportive environment.

    “I wanted to start my career where I will receive teachers’ support.”

    Next year, up to 30 students will be accepted into the Stem Starter Summer Academy. For more information, contact MWCC’s admission’s office at 978-630-9110 or admissions@mwcc.mass.edu.

  • 12th Annual Massachusetts STEM Summit is Tuesday, November 10

    Themed "Promising Practices, Proven Results", the day will include panel presentations, plenary speakers, and exhibitors showcasing STEM initiatives

    Mark your calendars for the 12th annual Massachusetts STEM Summit! Join us on Tuesday, November 10, 2015 at the DCU Center in Worcester!

    Themed "Promising Practices, Proven Results", the day will include panel presentations, plenary speakers, and exhibitors showcasing STEM initiatives; sharing innovative thinking; and highlighting the goals, plans, and progress of STEM policies and programs.

    Sessions will cover a broad range of topics including: early childhood, K-12, and higher education; out-of-school time programs; digital education; research and practice; innovation and entrepreneurship; workforce development and career awareness; state policy and business needs; and more.

    To see session descriptions, visit the Summit schedule.

    Registration opens at 9:00am on Wednesday, September 16. Please visit www.mass-stem-summit.org to register. The registration fee will be $50. Please note: this fee will be waived for all full-time students. Space is limited so please register early!

    The Massachusetts STEM Summit is hosted by:

    Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council
    Massachusetts Business Roundtable
    University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute

  • Photo Courtesy Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

    413 STEM Ready Academy

    MCLA program aims to inspire community college students

    NORTH ADAMS — Adrienne Wootters says when she meets community college students who transfer into her department at MCLA, they seem to know where they're going with their studies.

    "They're always really well-prepared and interested," said Wootters, a physics professor at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

    For the second consecutive summer, the college is hosting an immersion program in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics to enrich the STEM experiences of students from three of the region's community colleges.

    The week-long 413 STEM Ready Academy, which concluded on Friday, included 25 students: nine from Berkshire Community College, and eight each from Holyoke and Greenfield community colleges.

    The program is offered at no cost; it is funded through a $239,334 grant awarded in 2013 to MCLA through the state Department of Higher Education's Performance Initiative Fund.

    "By immersing them in STEM coursework, our hope is that this will encourage them to go into a four-year program or beyond in exploring this field," said Mary Nash.

    >> Continues on BerkshireEagle.com

    Photo Courtesy Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

  • Photo Courtesy Bristol Community College

    STEM Panel inspires confidence, creativity

    Bristol Community College hosted the Women in STEM Panel before a packed auditorium of 100 high school students at the Siegel Health & Technology Building

    Keep trying until you’ve found your passion and don’t feel limited by your gender.

    Those were two of the main messages on Friday, June 12, when Bristol Community College hosted the Women in STEM Panel before a packed auditorium of 100 high school students at the Siegel Health & Technology Building.

    STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, and a panel of six accomplished women imparted their experiences and insights in both the academic and employment worlds. The majority of the audience was female. Schools represented included Durfee, Apponequet, Bristol-Plymouth and Global Charter of New Bedford.

    “Based on what I saw today I feel empowered,” says Jandlyn Bentley, a BCC graduate who will be studying Aerospace Engineering this fall in Florida. “It was nice to see these women with different backgrounds achieving success.”

    Jessica Scrimger, a junior at Apponequet Regional High School, attended the forum.

    “Now I know that I can take a STEM path,” she said afterwards. “Hearing these women who’ve been in the real world with their different career paths gives me motivation. These women weren’t all super stars, but they made something of themselves. It opened my eyes.”

    >> Continues on southcoasttoday.com

    Photo Courtesy Bristol Community College

  • State Treasurer Visits Natick, Talks STEM Education

    Treasurer Deborah Goldberg stops in Natick to kick off her state-wide economic empowerment tour, visiting MathWorks and Natick High School to highlight her focus on STEM education

    NATICK - April 6, 2015 - Treasurer Deborah Goldberg stopped in Natick this morning to kick off her state-wide economic empowerment tour, visiting MathWorks and Natick High School to highlight her focus on STEM education.

    Goldberg’s recently founded Office of Economic Empowerment will work at strengthening STEM education for all students to help close the state’s skills gap. Training students in science and math jobs, Goldberg said, will lead to economic growth.

    “In the 21st century, closing the skills gap is critical, not only for our students, but also for the economic health and well-being of our state,” Goldberg said in a statement. “When we invest in our students and our workforce, we empower people to invest in themselves.”

    Continues on metrowestdailynews.com

  • STEM Summit Call for Sessions and Exhibits

    2015 STEM Summit organizers are soliciting proposals for breakout sessions and resource exhibits to be showcased in the Exhibit Hall throughout the day

    The next STEM Summit will be Tuesday, November 10, 2015 at the DCU Center in Worcester, MA. Based on the great response and success of last year’s pilot, organizers have decided to expand this year’s public call for sessions, which will result in a program of breakout sessions built primarily with content proposed by summit attendees and selected by strand review committees. In addition, they will be soliciting proposals for resource exhibits to be showcased in the exhibit hall throughout the day.

  • Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Announces 2015 STEM @Scale Awards

    $643,000 Awarded to Expand 11 Projects Proven to Boost Student Interest, Ability in Science, Technology, Engineering & Math

    BOSTON – Friday, February 13, 2015 – Eleven college and school-based programs proven to spark student interest and prowess in science, technology, engineering and math - the so-called STEM fields - have been awarded more than $643,000 through the Commonwealth’s @Scale program, the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education announced today.

    Among the projects chosen for support, based in part on their ability to be scaled up in other regions of the state and secure private funds to match investment by taxpayers, are Quinsigamond Community College’s Advanced Robotics Initiative (ARI), which engages Worcester Public School students in after-school robotics engineering challenges; Science from Scientists, which sends trained scientists into classrooms to conduct hands-on lab activity; and the STEM Pathways to Prosperity Project, which will give students at all nine of the Commonwealth’s state universities clear routes into STEM careers. Projects selected for @Scale endorsement are designed for easy replication and scale-up while also demonstrating success in achieving student performance outcomes.

    “By replicating successful models across our Commonwealth, the @Scale program creates opportunities for students of all ages, backgrounds and interests to pursue careers in STEM fields,” said Congressman Joseph Kennedy III, Honorary Co-Chair of the Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council. “Each of these projects has developed an innovative approach to STEM education, and the funds provided by @Scale will help guide their efforts as they train their students for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”


    Photo courtesy Quinsigamond Community College's Advanced Robotics Initiative

  • Photo Courtesy Science from Scientists

    Eye On Education: Local Students Learn Science From Scientists

    WBZ-TV features @Scale project "Science from Scientists"

    PLAINVILLE (CBS) – At first glance it looks like your typical 5th grade science class and then the experiments start. At the Wood Elementary School in Plainville the class is being taught by Dr. Audra Kennedy. She has a PhD in neuroscience and works for the non-profit “Science From Scientists.”

    The students are instantly engaged, “It’s very entertaining to do. Very interesting, hands-on experiments,” says one eager student.

    “Kids need to learn science. Science really is going to be at the forefront of what these students are going to grow up and do for their jobs in life,” explains. Dr. Kennedy. And kids can use some help. Just 42% of 8th grade students in Massachusetts scored proficient or higher last year on the science MCAS well behind the math and English exams.

    >> Continues on Boston.CBSLocal.com



    Photo Courtesy Science from Scientists

  • Photo Courtesy UMass Amherst

    The Vocational Revolution

    Boston Globe columnist Dante Ramos writes about the success of vocational high schools with their focus on practical skills.

    The vocational revolution
    By Dante Ramos, Globe Columnist

    January 18- In the topsy-turvy world of American education in 2015, it’s remarkable when a teenager from an affluent suburb finishes high school with practical skills.

    Eighteen-year-old Jack Gallagher comes from Needham, the kind of town that families seek out for its public education system, and he grew up on a block abundant with high-powered professionals. But by his account, he was always the odd kid out. So after middle school, he enrolled at Minuteman High, a regional public vocational school in Lexington, and chose the horticulture and landscaping track.

    Gallagher was among a small focus group of students (selected, I should note, by school staff) whom I met at Minuteman last week. His ambitions now include sustainable farming, and he hopes to get a degree from the agriculture school at UMass. But he and his classmates also have training that could prove useful immediately upon graduation, or in finding lucrative side jobs in college.

    >> Continues on BostonGlobe.com

    Photo courtesy Stockbridge School of Agriculture at UMass Amherst

  • 2014 Stem Summit

    Massachusetts STEM Summit 2014

    Massachusetts held its 11th annual STEM Summit on Wednesday, October 22, 2014, at the DCU Center in Worcester.

    The 2014 STEM Summit drew the largest attendance yet with over 1200 participants comprised of educators, business leaders, government officials, administrators, and students.  The focus of this year’s Summit was looking towards and preparing for the future with over 45 sessions throughout the day devoted to this theme.  Attendees were also engaged by fantastic keynote speeches delivered by the 2014 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair winner and Boston Latin School student, Nathan Han, by the Massachusetts 2014 STEM Teacher of Year, Doug Scott, and by the 2014 National High School Principal of the Year, Sheila Harrity, principal at Worcester Technical High School.  The STEM Summit is hosted by the Massachusetts’ STEM Advisory Council, the University of Massachusetts and by the Massachusetts Business Roundtable. 

    >> STEM Summit Official Website

  • Lydia Kenton Walsh and Lance Hartford

    BioTeach Initiative Receives $20,000 from Corning

    Corning Incorporated Foundation provides new funding for the MassBioEd Foundation that will enable growth of biotech programming for students and teachers

    October 7— Corning Incorporated Foundation has provided new funding for the MassBioEd Foundation that will enable growth of biotech programming for students and teachers, the MassBioEd Foundation announced today.

    The Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation (MassBioEd Foundation) is a nonprofit charitable organization founded in 2001 to bring biotechnology education to students with a goal of inspiring scientific curiosity and cultivating the next generation of life sciences professionals.

    The BioTeach initiative brings lab equipment grants to schools, biotechnology curricula and professional development and mentoring for teachers, and college and career exploration experiences for high school students. The BioTeach program currently reaches 201 schools and has been recognized by the Massachusetts State STEM Council as a premier @Scale initiative.

    >> Read the press release

  • Governor Patrick jokes with Congressman’s Joe Kennedy III at a conference discusses his Administration’s efforts to increase access to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education at a STEM Roundtable chaired by Congressman Kennedy in the McCormack Building in Boston.

    It’s Not Magic, it’s Science!

    Siobhan Sullivan and her assistant Dr. Payal Patel visited Cummings Elementary School in Winthrop for a "Science from Scientists" lesson

    Allison Scheff and Keith Connors visited Cummings Elementary School in Winthrop today to sit in on a Science from Scientists lesson from Siobhan Sullivan and her assistant Dr. Payal Patel.  The students learned about phase changes and states of matter through hands on learning (see photo).  At the end of the lesson, students were amazed when Scientists were able to observe evidence the sublimation of dry ice (a solid) changing phases to a gas by seeing a bubble grow in size!

    >> More about Science from Scientists

  • Governor Patrick jokes with Congressman’s Joe Kennedy III at a conference discusses his Administration’s efforts to increase access to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education at a STEM Roundtable chaired by Congressman Kennedy in the McCormack Building in Boston.

    MA STEM Business Engagement Roundtable

    Government and industry leaders come together to discuss state initiatives aimed at strengthening the pipeline of STEM skilled workers

    October 6— Governor Patrick, Administration Officials, Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council honorary co-chair Rep. Joseph Kennedy and co-chair CEO Jeffrey Leiden of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, and CEO’s of Massachusetts based STEM Companies came together to discuss state STEM initiatives aimed at strengthening the pipeline of STEM skilled workers to meet industry needs.  The roundtable discussion, that included voices from a variety of STEM companies such as Baystate Health, iRobot, Northeast Utilities and Math Works, to name just a few of the over 30 industry participants, also considered ways that industry could advance the state STEM goals. Photo: Eric Haynes / Governor’s Office

  • Filmmaker Mary Mazzio, iRobot CEO Colin Angle, Higher Education Associate Commissioner David Cedrone, Congressman Joe Kennedy, STEM Advisory Council Director Allison Scheff and NBC-Telemundo's Rocky Egusquiza pose around the Underwater Dreams poster at the premiere

    STEM Council Lecture Series: “Underwater Dreams”

    Documentary Film Premiere Rallies Science/Tech Community to Enhance State’s Economic and Educational Future in STEM Education

    August 7— Patrick Administration officials joined with nearly 300 business, policy and educational leaders for the Massachusetts premiere of “Underwater Dreams,” the true-life story of how a group of Hispanic high school students from a high-poverty school district in Arizona beat MIT and other world-class competitors in a NASA-sponsored underwater robotics competition.

    The premiere, held at Boston’s Museum of Science, was sponsored by the Governor Patrick’s STEM Advisory Council, which is co-chaired by Congressman Joseph Kennedy and Vertex Pharmaceuticals CEO Jeff Leiden, in association with the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. The screening was part of the STEM Advisory Council’s ongoing public event series to create community discussions about the importance of science, technology, engineering and math education and workforce opportunities.

    In the photo (from left): Filmmaker Mary Mazzio, iRobot CEO Colin Angle, Higher Education Associate Commissioner David Cedrone, Congressman Joe Kennedy, STEM Advisory Council Director Allison Scheff and NBC/Telemundo's Rocky Egusquiza at the Underwater Dreams premiere. Photo credit: Derek Kouyoumjian

    >> Read the press release
    >> More photos on Flickr

  • Doug Scott with several of his students

    Natick High School Teacher Named 2014 Massachusetts STEM Teacher of the Year

    Doug Scott will be honored at the 2014 Massachusetts STEM Summit on October 22 at Worcester’s DCU Center

    July 30—Natick High School science teacher Doug Scott has been named The Hall at Patriot Place, presented by Raytheon Massachusetts, STEM Teacher of the Year. He will be honored at the 2014 Massachusetts STEM Summit on October 22 at Worcester’s DCU Center, and his school will receive $5,000 to be used for STEM education.

    “I am honored to be selected for this award,” Scott said. “I know there were many worthy candidates, and I want to thank the committee for their dedication to STEM education. As teachers, I think we all try to have a positive impact on our students and that is certainly what I have tried to do with students of all levels and ability.”

    “Doug Scott is an excellent example of a teacher who has gone above and beyond to get students – especially young women – interested in technology, engineering and robotics,” said Allison Scheff, executive director of the Governor's STEM Advisory Council. “It is our hope that the STEM Teacher of the Year will be able to connect with as many teachers and members of the STEM community across the Commonwealth to share some of his best practices that have had results inside and outside the classroom.”

    >> Read the press release

  • Governor Patrick shakes hands with Jeffrey Leiden after swearing-in

    Governor Patrick Swears in Dr. Jeffrey Leiden as Co-Chair of STEM Advisory Council

    Vertex Pharmaceuticals’ Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer will co-chair with Congressman Joe Kennedy

    May 21—Governor Deval Patrick today swore in Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Vertex Pharmaceuticals Dr. Jeffrey Leiden as the new Co-Chair of the Governor’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Advisory Council. Together with the Council’s Honorary Chair Congressman Joe Kennedy, this leadership model will enhance STEM-related efforts in the Commonwealth. Dr. Leiden brings more than 20 years of scientific, commercial and financial experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries and clinical experience in academia as a practicing cardiologist and molecular biologist. As Co-Chair of the STEM Council, Dr. Leiden will play a leading role to strengthen industry partnerships in promoting STEM opportunities across Massachusetts. Photo: Sam Sarkisian / Governor's Office

    >> Read the Governor's press release

  • Next Meeting of Governor's STEM Advisory Council

    Monday, September 15, 3 p.m., Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Boston

    The next meeting of the Governor's STEM Advisory Council will be held on Monday, September 15, from 3 to 5 p.m., at Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

  • STEM Plan 2.0: Expanding the Pipeline for All

    Our roadmap to providing increased focus on STEM education as the engine for creating growth and opportunity across the Commonwealth
This website is supported by the STEM Pipeline Fund, a state trust account administered by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education to support STEM initiatives.