For Immediate Release - July 11, 2014


Visit to Eureka! Scholars Program at Girls Inc.
Governor Patrick visits the Eureka! Scholars program at Girls Inc. of Holyoke and discusses the importance of inspiring women to enter STEM fields.
(Photo: Eric Haynes / Governor’s Office)

HOLYOKE – Friday, July 11, 2014 – Governor Deval Patrick today visited a class of second year students enrolled in the Eureka! Scholars program at Girls Inc., which focuses on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum, and discussed the importance of engaging young women in this field. 

“In order to compete in a global economy, we must continue to grow jobs by inspiring as many of our students as possible to pursue majors in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math,” said Governor Patrick. “Programs such as Eureka! Scholars are a valued partner in the Administration’s efforts to build a talented pipeline of student ready to pursue jobs in STEM fields.”

During the visit, Governor Patrick joined students in an interactive lesson: “Glow in the Dark Cells: How Scientists Use the Principles of Fluorescence in Research,” which demonstrated how students utilize the principle of fluorescence, together with intrinsic properties of cells, to learn about how cells function both in good health and in the presence of disease. Following the interactive lesson, the girls presented to the Governor what they learned during the program over the course of the past week, which included information on healthy eating. Governor Patrick also engaged in a discussion with students about STEM education and the girls’ experience with the Eureka! Scholars program. 

As part of its programming, Girls Inc., which began in Holyoke in 1981, provides education in STEM fields, equipping girls the skills necessary to succeed in the modern workforce. In addition, the organization is focused on providing enrichment and educational opportunities for girls that are both cutting-edge and research-driven, which is essential to ensuring equitable access to career opportunities in high-demand fields within the innovation economy.

In the coming months, Girls Inc. will participate in Google’s Made with Code program, which is designed to encourage more girls to enter into computer science education programs and career paths. The program offers coding tutorials, sample projects and resources for parents to host Made with Code parties, and other resources designed to encourage girls to cultivate an interest in computer science and coding.

In 2009, Governor Patrick signed Executive Order 513, which created the STEM Advisory Council to ensure that all students receive a STEM education and are equipped to pursue post-secondary degrees or careers in STEM fields. The Patrick Administration has made significant investments in programs to build a workforce that is prepared to succeed in today’s economy. The FY15 budget includes STEM related provisions, which includes $4.75 million for a STEM Starter Academy through the Department of Higher Education (DHE), which will provide grants at one or more of the Massachusetts community colleges identified by DHE as underperforming on STEM academic assessments, but have expressed a high level of interest in STEM majors and STEM careers.

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