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STEM Nexus: Connecting Massachusetts' STEM Community

STEM Council Subcommittees and Workgroups

Students at Northern Essex Community College work in a lab.
Photo courtesy Northern Essex Community College.

Where the state STEM initiative encompasses such a broad spectrum of activities, the STEM Council created subcommittees and workgroups to focus on specific issues to help inform its work. Additional benefits gained by the creation of these committees/groups include the ability to engage a broader community of stakeholders beyond the Council’s 40 members and the diversity of ideas and opinions forged into concrete strategies. The subcommittees meet on a recurring basis over time whereas the working groups have specific, short-term tasks.

Below is a list of the current subcommittees and workgroups followed by their descriptions.

Subcommittees Workgroups
Media & Communications Defining STEM
STEM and the Arts STEM Summit Proposal Review Panel
STEM Awareness STEM Networks
Diversity Teacher Training and Development
Data & Measurement STEM Readiness
Global STEM  
Workforce Training  

Definitions of Subcommittes

Media and Communications: This subcommittee is intended to assist in creating a plan to have the work of the STEM Council more visible on a state and national level; to improve public awareness of STEM, the STEM Pipeline, and the multiple pathways into STEM opportunities; and to build our network of media contacts. This group also is responsible for working with our communications manager on the monthly newsletter.

STEM and the Arts: One of the most interesting topics for schools right now is STEM vs. STEAM (the integration of the arts into STEM). This subcommittee will deeply explore STEM and STEAM learning, teaching methods, research-based methods, and industry demands to inform the larger STEM community on the role of arts in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

STEM Awareness: This subcommittee was formerly known at the Public Awareness subcommittee. This group is looking at ways to help promote STEM interest and awareness to children and their parents. This group will be working with the Department of Higher Education’s Go Public! campaign and other advertising agencies on how to message STEM in Massachusetts.

Diversity: This subcommittee is intended to provide guidance on how the STEM Council can better address the need to increase diversity of people who enter and remain in the STEM Pipeline.

Data and Measurement: This subcommittee would provide recommendations regarding the data and information that the Council collects to measure progress toward reaching the five goals that are outlined in the STEM Plan.

Global STEM: Massachusetts is no longer competing with other states for employees and industry but instead is competing globally. This subcommittee will focus its efforts on developing strategic and tactical actions for K-16 education that are based on best practices and successes to have Massachusetts remain competitive in the global economy remain and continue to be an international leader in STEM talent.

Workforce Training: This subcommittee will focus its efforts on how the STEM Plan and the Council can strengthen its work on supporting people who are entering the workforce in STEM fields, including those who may not have been prepared well or have other barriers for accessing STEM employment in Massachusetts. This group also will examine ways to better align education and the future needs of the economy in Massachusetts.

Definitions of Working Groups

Defining STEM: STEM is currently an acronym without much depth. This often leads to multiple interpretations of what STEM means by different stakeholders. This working group will be reviewing the myriad of definitions of STEM that exist and recommend a definition of STEM for the Commonwealth to use, with the intention of defining the concept of STEM that will work for both educators and employers.

STEM Summit Proposal Review Panel: This group will be reviewing submissions and making recommendations during the month of June 2014. This group will resume activity in Spring 2015.

STEM Networks: The STEM Networks are an important infrastructure that is supported by the STEM Council and the STEM Pipeline fund. This group will examine the best use of the Networks and provide recommendations on how to improve communication, alignment, and participation between the Council and the Networks.

STEM Readiness: Using the Commonwealth’s description of “College and Career Readiness” as a starting point and the expertise of the volunteers, this group would articulate what it means to be ready at different transition points within the STEM pipeline, including primary school, post-secondary, and workforce.

STEM Teacher Corps: This group will be using the recommendations proposed by the STEM Readiness subcommittee to re-envision and recommend what STEM teacher recruitment, training, and professional development should look like in the Commonwealth to best prepare our diverse body of students with STEM content, skills, and practices.

How do I join?

If you are interested in joining a subcommittee of working group, please fill out the Subcommittee Interest Form and submit it to Allison Scheff at

>> DOC Download the Subcommittee Interest Form

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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.