For Immediate Release - March 09, 2017

Baker-Polito Administration Awards $1 Million Grant to Develop STEM High-Quality Career Pathways for Students

First-of-its kind grant will increase access to project-based STEM courses across Massachusetts

WORCESTER – The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded a $1 million STEM grant to a national nonprofit organization that will help expand computer science and engineering education for students in grades 6-12 at 45 schools across the Commonwealth.

The STEM High-Quality Career Pathway Capacity Grant was created to increase access for students to engage in project-based STEM courses.  The grant gives priority to schools in districts that are building STEM pathways across all grade levels.

Project Lead The Way, a national nonprofit organization focused on improving computer science, engineering and biomedical science for K-12 students and teachers, was awarded the $750,000 state grant, along with a matching grant from the One8 Foundation totaling more than $300,000. The One8 Foundation is a Massachusetts-based philanthropy with a focus on educational excellence for all children, particularly developing skills for students’ success in the 21st century. The One8 Foundation provided matching grant funds to expand the number of schools that benefit from the grant.

“Increasing educational opportunities in STEM is critical to prepare our students with the education and skills they will need to be successful in industries that are thriving in the Commonwealth,” Governor Charlie Baker said. “This grant will help address the challenges we face in our state’s innovation economy – that is the gap between available jobs in STEM fields and qualified workers able to fill those jobs.”

“The STEM Advisory Council recently identified the need to broaden access to high-quality computer science and engineering education,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, who co-chairs the STEM Advisory Council. “The grant funding announced today will give more students knowledge and exposure to STEM fields, increasing the likelihood that they will consider careers as computer specialists, scientists, engineers, healthcare providers, and researchers.”

“This grant program will empower students to learn, and apply, in-demand skills in computer science, engineering and biomedical science. Project Lead The Way is known for creating curriculum that not only teaches students technical skills, but also how to problem solve, think critically and collaborate,” Education Secretary James Peyser said.  “This grant will also provide teachers with the resources they need to engage students in STEM studies.”

The STEM High-Quality Career Pathway Capacity Grant is overseen by the Executive Office of Education in conjunction with the STEM Advisory Council and the Governor’s Workforce Skills Cabinet. The STEM Advisory Council serves as the coordinating entity, bringing together participants from state agencies, the Legislature, and members of the public and private sectors involved in STEM education planning and programming.

“We are proud to partner with the Baker-Polito Administration, the Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council, and the One8 Foundation and Mass STEM Hub to expand access to high-quality career learning experiences for students and teachers throughout the state. Together through this partnership, we will empower students with the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in our evolving world and continue building on the great work already being done here in Massachusetts,” said Dr. Rex Bolinger, PLTW senior vice president and chief partnerships officer.

The curricula will be aligned with the state’s Science, Technology, and Engineering, and Digital Literacy and Computer Science Curriculum Frameworks, and will provide intensive professional development for teachers.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute acts as the professional development partner of PLTW in Massachusetts.  Mass STEM Hub is a project of the One8 Foundation and will be working in partnership with PLTW and WPI to provide additional implementation support to schools.

Lt. Governor Polito announced the grant, and the schools that will benefit from it, while visiting Doherty High School in Worcester. The Lt. Governor joined local school officials to visit classrooms set up to teach PLTW’s Principles of Engineering and Engineering Design courses.

About the STEM Advisory Council

The vision of the STEM Advisory Council is to ensure all students in the Commonwealth receive comprehensive STEM education from highly-qualified educators so they are better informed and prepared to pursue post-secondary degrees or careers in these areas. Members of the Council include individuals from academia, business, government and non-profits who are well positioned to provide elevated awareness to the benefits of a STEM literate and skilled citizenry able to fill the ranks of the 21st Century workforce.  Building on earlier initiatives, the Governor’s Advisory Council on STEM is now authorized by Section 218 of Chapter 6 of Massachusetts General Law. For more information, please visit http://www.mass.edu/stem/home.asp.

The following schools will take part in the grant:

  • A.C. Whelan Elementary School, Revere
  • Albert N. Parlin School, Everett
  • Barnstable High School, Barnstable 
  • Boston Preparatory Charter Public School, Boston
  • Brown Elementary School, Natick
  • Brooke East Boston Charter School, East Boston
  • Brooke Mattapan Charter School, Mattapan
  • Brooke Roslindale Charter School, Roslindale
  • Conservatory Lab Charter School, Boston
  • Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School, Dighton-Rehoboth
  • Doherty Memorial High School, Worcester
  • Elmwood Street School, Millbury
  • Everett High School, Everett
  • Excel Academy Charter High School, East Boston
  • George Keverian School, Everett
  • KIPP Academy Boston K-8, Boston
  • KIPP Academy Lynn
  • Haverhill High School, Haverhill
  • Leicester High School, Leicester
  • Leicester Middle School, Leicester 
  • Matthew J. Kuss Middle School, Fall River
  • Minot Forest, Wareham
  • New Liberty Innovation of Salem High School, Salem
  • Penn Brook School, Georgetown
  • Randolph Community Middle School, Randolph
  • Richard K. Murphy, K-8, Boston
  • Samoset Middle School, Leominster
  • Sandwich High School, Sandwich
  • Shepherd Hill Regional High School, Dudley-Charlton
  • Stacy Middle School, Milford
  • Sky View Middle School, Leominster
  • Silver Lake Middle School, Silver Lake
  • Stoneham High School, Stoneham
  • The Springfield Renaissance School, Springfield
  • Talbot Middle School, Fall River
  • Oak Bluffs Elementary School, Oak Bluffs
  • Oak Ridge School, Sandwich 
  • Uxbridge High School, Uxbridge
  • Wareham Senior High School, Wareham
  • Wareham Middle School, Wareham
  • Watertown Middle School, Watertown
  • Watertown High School, Watertown
  • Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School, Whittier
  • Woodland Elementary School, Milford
  • Worcester Technical High School, Worcester

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