1.3 Prioritize goals of the State STEM Plan that align with middle-skill Jobs (four action items)

Contact: Mary Beth Campbell

1.3.1 Focus the efforts of public and private partners on the expansion of “best practice” STEM programs, building on the Commonwealth’s “@Scale” program.

CY2013 Progress:

  • Five new @Scale projects approved. This $290,000 in award will leverage almost $900,000 in non-state funding and ensures the next generation is equipped with the skills and knowledge for 21st century careers.
  • The @Scale Project Initiative has a new RFP available to fund STEM projects that addresses Student Interest, Student Academic Achievement and Educator Effectiveness.

CY 2012 Progress:

The Governor’s STEM Council launched the @Scale program to focus public and private resources in support of an integrated portfolio of education enhancement projects aligned to achieve the goals of Massachusetts STEM Plan.  This program calls for a $1:$3 public/private funding match to support the scale-up of projects selected for this portfolio.  The Commonwealth has committed $1M with the goal to secure $3M in matching private or other funding sources.

  • Phase I of @Scale addressed Student Interest and Student Readiness (Goals 1 & 3 of the State STEM Plan).  Seven projects have been selected through a competitive process and endorsed by the STEM Council.  Funding partners have been engaged to complete the funding match for these projects.
  • Announced five new grants for Phase II of @Scale addressed College Graduation Rates and Workforce Development (Goals 4 & 6 of the State STEM Plan). This phase was launched in August 2012 with a $400K commitment of public funds requiring a $1.2M private/other match.

The Governor’s STEM Advisory Council added a sixth goal concerning workforce development to the state STEM Plan.  The new goal aims to align STEM education programs with the workforce needs of key economic sectors in order to achieve the following:

  • Improve the competence (knowledge, skills and attitudes) of current and prospective workers for in-demand career tracks across relevant job levels,
  • Increase the availability and diversity of STEM competent workers to support the replacement (retirement) and growth needs of employers,
  • Increase total employment of the STEM workforce, regionally and statewide.

1.3.2 Increase the attractiveness of STEM careers for more students and improve teachers’ awareness of industry education expectations.

CY2013 Progress:

  • Mount Wachusett Community College has received a five-year, $640,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for technology-minded students. The grant will provide scholarships and support services to 150 full-time students in science, technology, engineering and math programs.
  • Springfield Technical Community College and Smith College have received a five-year $3 million grant to get children interested in engineering.
  • On March 7, Lieutenant Governor Murray announced that Massachusetts has been selected as a leading state and partner in working towards increasing STEM student achievement and the number of trained educators in STEM.  100Kin10 works to “prepare all students with the high-quality STEM knowledge and skills needed to tackle the most pressing national and global challenges of tomorrow.” Massachusetts is among the organizations accepted as 100Kin10 partners based on its innovation and boldness of commitment towards expanding, improving and retaining the best of the nation’s STEM teaching force. 
  • The three awarded Regional STEM Networks announced in March 2013 will further support the Commonwealth’s statewide efforts on STEM education with a focus on “Building Communities of Interest Networks.”  For these awarded grants, the three Regional STEM Networks will specifically support Out-of-School and After School projects, a current initiative that will accompany the existing work of all seven Regional STEM Networks, 12 state endorsed @Scale Projects, and ongoing public awareness efforts.

CY2012 Progress

  • Lt Governor Murray announced $780,000 in funding to promote and advance Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education, jobs and workforce development as he welcomed over 1,000 educators, business leaders, and government officials to the 9th Annual STEM Summit at Gillette Stadium.
  • Announced and launched the new AMP It UP! Campaign to promote careers in advanced manufacturing.
  • The Leadership Initiatives for Teaching and Technology (LIFT2) offers middle school and high school math, science, and technology teachers a research-based professional learning program that integrates graduate coursework with authentic and relevant externships in "innovative" industries in Massachusetts.
  • Governor Patrick announced a new year-long internship program  for college students interested in careers in clean energy.

1.3.3 Increase the number of STEM programs that provide effective “hands on” learning experiences by increasing the number of public school facilities that are appropriately equipped to enable such experiences.

CY2013 Progress:

  • Governor Patrick announced a $100 million grant for life science-related projects in western Massachusetts; most of which, some $95 million, will go to UMass Amherst’s Life Science Center.
  • On March 26, Governor Deval Patrick today joined Education Secretary Matthew Malone, Higher Education Commissioner Richard Freeland, UMass Boston Chancellor J. Keith Motley and 100 students to announce the Commonwealth’s new High-Demand scholarships, awarded to students pursuing careers for which the state has an urgent need for skilled talent. The Commonwealth’s knowledge-based economy relies on a high-knowledge, well-skilled workforce for continued growth, and these scholarships will help ensure that Massachusetts has the talent needed to remain competitive in the 21st century.

CY2012 Progress:

Massachusetts has implemented a system of seven Regional STEM Networks to convene community representatives (K-12 educators, business/industry, non-profit programs, and higher education) in support of regional needs for STEM education.  These networks are an excellent source for information about a wide range of local STEM activities, resources and events. Some recent activities include:

  • An annual STEM Expo conducted by the South Coast STEM Network − The most recent Expo was attended by 500 middle school students who engaged in hands-on exhibits to learn about exciting career opportunities.
  • A partnership of Intel Corporation, the Latino STEM Alliance, and the Central STEM Network established an incentive fund to address the needs of the Latino students for STEM education programming.
  • The creation of an award winning webzine called “STEM MATTERS” at the Northeast STEM Network that connects teachers, students, and parents to the wide range of opportunities in STEM.
  • Regional science fairs organized and supported by four of the seven networks −  The Massachusetts Afterschool Partnership (MAP) is the recipient of a planning grant from the Noyce Foundation to promote statewide afterschool network collaborations for informal science education. The planning grant is designed to support MAP's role as an intermediary for infusing STEM into expanded learning, afterschool and summer programs along with broader system-building efforts.
  • $3.2 million in grants to support the purchase of life sciences training equipment and supplies at vocational technical schools, public high schools in Massachusetts' Gateway Cities, and workforce training programs across the state.

1.3.4 Ensure that STEM programs are designed in a way to increase STEM interest and achievement across all populations, especially those currently underrepresented in STEM careers.

CY2012 Progress:

  • ABLE-4-STEM: This innovative program is aimed at doubling the number of underrepresented minority students graduating with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) degrees from the University of Massachusetts and the state's 15 community colleges.