For Immediate Release - August 02, 2016

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

BOSTON – 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.

Background information on the STEM Advisory Council

The Governor’s STEM Advisory Council was created by Executive Order in 2009 and codified in statute in the FY 2014 budget. Lt. Governor Polito, U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III, and Vertex CEO Jeff Leiden all serve as co-chairs. Under the Baker-Polito Administration, the Executive Office of Education leads the work of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council.