STEM Week Overview
“See Yourself in STEM”
Massachusetts STEM Week 2022 will take place from October 17 – 21, and is organized by the Executive Office of Education and the STEM Advisory Council in partnership with the state’s Nine Regional STEM Networks. STEM Week is a statewide effort to boost the interest, awareness and ability of all students to see themselves in STEM opportunities.
Young women, students of color, English language learners, and students with disabilities continue to be underrepresented in STEM fields, yet make up a larger percentage of the overall workforce. We need more young people to see themselves in STEM.
Last October, STEM Week was a huge success with both in-person and virtual events across the Commonwealth. Schools, non-profit organizations, colleges, museums, and businesses all participated to host and organize STEM Week events for students ranging from preschool to college.
STEM Design Challenges in 2022
The Baker-Polito Administration awarded more than $250,000 total in Design Challenge grants to six educational organizations gearing up to provide STEM opportunities to students during the 5th annual statewide STEM Week.
The following organizations received grants to develop STEM Design Challenges for students during this year’s STEM Week:
PBLWorks - $41,830: In partnership with Mass STEM Hub, a project of the One8 Foundation, students in grades 6-12 will use labor market data and other research to explore and present on STEM Careers through the lens of “How can we prepare and inspire people in Massachusetts to pursue STEM careers that have the greatest potential for impact?” Students will collaborate with and seek feedback from local employers and peers on their presentations to build connections as they begin college and career planning. PBLWorks aims to reach 100+ schools with this applied learning experience.
The Wade Institute - $39,965: This Design Challenge, “Extreme Zoo Makeover: A STEM Approach to Habitat Design,” will engage students in grades 5-8 in a unique experience that integrates science and engineering concepts in a series of inquiry-based investigations that lead up to a student-driven challenge. Partnering with the Lloyd Center for Environment and Buttonwood Park Zoo, this design challenge aims to reach 100 classrooms.
Kids in Tech - $48,700: This Design Challenge, “Everyday Engineering: Using the Ordinary to Create the Extraordinary,” will deepen 5 – 8 grade students’ understanding of the different branches of engineering. The challenge will cover the five pillars of engineering and include a series of webinars to simulate the activities. Kids in Tech plans to reach 8,500 students with this design challenge.
The STEM Center at WPI - $41,596: The STEM Center will expand the “I Am STEM” library to include four lessons for each grade level, pre-K – 5, as well as create four additional lessons for Grade 6. This will increase the total lessons in the library from 14 to 28 over the course of two years. The STEM Center anticipates reaching 5,000 students.
United Way and Boston PIC - $30,000: This design challenge focuses on social justice for civics by using STEM as the lever for change. Approximately 150 Boston Public School teachers and their classes will participate in this STEM Week design challenge.
Museum of Science - $49,578: The Museum of Science is launching a biotechnology challenge for students in grades 6-8 to raise awareness about the use of plastics. Students will be challenged to engineer biodegradable plastic and think about the benefits of making plastic more environmentally friendly. The challenge will reach 1,500 students.
STEM Challenge Partners
The following organizations were also announced as STEM Challenge Partners. The organizations have collaborated with the STEM Advisory Council over the last five years to provide opportunities for students across the Commonwealth.
i2 Learning - i2 Learning has been proud to partner with the Commonwealth since the inaugural Massachusetts STEM Week in 2018. Building on the success of i2's courses during STEM Week, i2 has developed additional project-based programs to be run in schools throughout the year, including Day of AI, i2 Full Year, and i2 Summer. For more information about bringing project-based STEM learning to your school or district outside of STEM Week, please visit www.i2learning.org.
FIRST Robotics, WPI - New England FIRST invites students and educators across the Commonwealth to engage with robotics teams during STEM Week and learn more about how to get hands-on with robotics. FIRST programs enable students from kindergarten through high school to understand the basics of STEM and apply their skills in an exciting challenge while building habits of learning, confidence, and teamwork skills along the way. To learn more visit https://nefirst.org/ or email@example.com.