BAKER-POLITO ADMINISTRATION AWARDS $1.7 MILLION TO HELP MORE STUDENTS STUDY STEM
BOSTON, MA – The Baker-Polito Administration today announced $1.7 million in school grants to expand computer science, engineering, and biomedical science education for students at 73 schools across the Commonwealth in grades K-12.
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 state grant, along with a matching grant from the One8 Foundation. The funding goes directly to schools to support professional development, curriculum, and equipment to bring innovative project-based learning to students. Of the 73 participating schools, 49 schools are implementing their first Project Lead The Way course and 24 schools are expanding STEM course offerings for students.
The STEM Career Pathway Capacity Grant program, which awarded $1 Million to 46 schools for the first time last year, was created to expand the number of students able to engage in project-based STEM courses. The grant program gives priority to schools in districts that are building STEM pathways across all grade levels.
“Massachusetts leads the nation in innovation and many of our fastest growing industries are rooted in STEM fields,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our administration is pleased to provide this important support to Massachusetts schools working to prepare our students for the demands of higher education and the workforce.”
“Engaging our students throughout their K-12 school years with hands-on lessons in science, engineering, computer science, technology and math will prepare them for success after high school and strengthen the Massachusetts workforce,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, who co-chairs the STEM Advisory Council.
“With this grant, more students will be engaged in valuable science, engineering and computer science projects that teach them to problem solve, think critically, and collaborate, while exposing them to fields that are growing across the Commonwealth,” Education Secretary James Peyser said.
“To thrive in our evolving world, students must have in-demand knowledge and transportable skills,” said Vince Bertram, PLTW president and CEO. “We are proud to partner with the Governor’s Office, the One8 Foundation, and Mass STEM Hub to expand access to engaging and inspiring learning experiences for Massachusetts’s students.”
“We are excited to be partnering with PLTW and WPI to support teachers and students as they implement high-quality STEM programming in the Commonwealth,” said Katherine Skrivan, Mass STEM Hub Director. “Through our close work with schools we will provide complimentary programming to further support teachers and link students’ coursework to relevant STEM opportunities here in Massachusetts.”
The STEM 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. Funding for the STEM Career Pathway Capacity Grant comes from a mix of public and private partners including, the STEM Advisory Council, the Governor’s Workforce Skills Cabinet, the One8 Foundation, and the GE Foundation.
“GE Foundation and Project Lead The Way are working together to help introduce Boston Public School students to career opportunities and develop the skills required for the future of work,” said Ann R. Klee, President, GE Foundation. “We are thrilled to join the state in this investment to expand access to high-quality STEM learning for Massachusetts’ students in these cutting-edge fields.”
The curricula will be aligned with the state’s Science, Technology, and Engineering standards, as well as the 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 Project Lead the Way in Massachusetts. Mass STEM Hub, a program of the One8 Foundation, will be working in partnership with PLTW and WPI to provide additional implementation support to schools.
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 advise the Commonwealth on building a deeper, more diverse human capital pipeline to fill the growing demand for talent by MA employers, while also creating new opportunities for young people and adults to pursue rewarding and productive careers requiring STEM expertise. 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.