STEM Education

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education represents an integral part of the Baker Administration’s goals for improving Massachusetts’ schools, and preparing our workforce for the jobs of tomorrow.

The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center is actively involved in promoting STEM education across the Commonwealth:

The MLSC is proud to serve on the Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council. The council’s goal is to ensure that all students are educated in STEM fields, which will enable them to pursue post-secondary degrees or careers in these areas, as well as raise awareness of the benefits associated with an increased statewide focus on STEM. More information can be found on the Commonwealth’s STEM Website

The MLSC is a co-sponsor of the annual Massachusetts STEM Summit, which addresses the entire education spectrum, workforce development, economic development and other key policy issues faced by the Commonwealth.

The MLSC provides funding related to STEM projects at middle schools and high schools through the Center’s STEM Equipment Grant Program as well as community colleges and universities through the Center’s Capital Program.

The MLSC also reimburses life sciences companies for internships related to STEM. Click here to learn more about the MLSC’s Internship Challenge.

More information can be found on the State’s official STEM website

Additionally, the MLSC has awarded grants to fund STEM-related programs and projects:

  • Citizen Schools ($15,000 in Fiscal Year 2011) partners with middle schools to “expand the learning day” for low-income children throughout Massachusetts. Citizens Schools incorporates college career connections, academic support and apprenticeships, which enable students to work with volunteers who bring work experience to life.
  • The DIGITS Project ($15,000 in Fiscal Year 2011) places STEM professionals in sixth-grade classrooms to increase student interest in math and science throughout the Commonwealth. The goal of this project is to have children understand the importance of math and science and the positive impact those subjects can have on students’ careers and futures.
  • Leadership Initiative for Teaching and Technology (LIFT2 — $15,000 in Fiscal Year 2011) offers middle- and high-school teachers professional learning programs that integrate math, science and technology research into graduate coursework with authentic and relevant internships in life sciences companies throughout Massachusetts.
  • Science Club for Girls ($15,000 in Fiscal Year 2011) was created for girls K-12who belong to groups underrepresented in the sciences field. Girls each work with a mentor in a free after-school science club that specializes in STEM education. The mentors create fun science activities that model and foster leadership goals to encourage the pursuit of higher education.
  • Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts (GSEM — $50,000 in Fiscal Year 2012) has 178 communities composed of 41,000 girls ranging in age from five to 18 and more than 17,000 adult volunteers. One of every seven girls in eastern Massachusetts is a Girl Scout. The Center awarded the grant in November 2011 to support girls and their involvement in STEM education and careers. In particular, this grant funded a 10-week module in STEM within the FaB Factor program, which is an early intervention and prevention program for at-risk, low-income, inner-city girls ranging in age from five to 17 years old, designed to address the fact that women are underrepresented in the majority of STEM fields.
  • The Urban Massachusetts Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (UMLSAMP — $50,000 in Fiscal Year 2012) will use the grant funding to expand its offerings. The UMLSAMP program is a consortium of eight Massachusetts academic institutions of higher learning: UMass Boston, UMass Dartmouth, UMass Lowell, Wentworth Institute of Technology, and Bristol, Bunker Hill, Middlesex and Roxbury Community Colleges. The mission of the NSF UMLSAMP grant under which this consortium has operated for the last five years has been to establish best practices and innovative approaches to increase the number of STEM bachelor-degree graduates, especially those from underrepresented minority communities. The Center’s funds were used for the design, development and implementation of two undergraduate Biotechnology Research Skills Development workshops for the Boston and New Bedford/Fall River metropolitan areas.
  • Women in Engineering, Science and Technology (WEST — $30,000 in Fiscal Year 2012) is primarily focused on workforce development for women at all career stages in science and technology: students, early career, mid-career and executive. WEST’s programs are designed to develop skills, build and expand professional relationships, and empower women to achieve full leadership potential. The purpose of the Center’s grant was to expand WEST’s offerings to regions of Massachusetts outside of Cambridge and Boston. The WEST organization is using the Center’s funds to add 12 programs, targeting two main corridors – Route #128/Suburbs and Route #495/Worcester – and cities and towns along these corridors. These two corridors are home to more than 230 life sciences companies and 18 colleges.
  • Boston Children’s Museum (Maker Lab Program- $50,000 in FY 2013) will utilize this grant to support a pilot project for the development of a Maker Lab Program.  The Maker Shop Program will be a creative space where parents and children can tinker and explore various modular station-based labs which feature different topics, tools and techniques for exploration, with an emphasis on life science learning for children.  This is an opportunity for the Center to support the Museum’s efforts to develop STEM skills through informal science programs.
  • Freedom House: Preparing Urban Students for Success in High School and Higher Education programs (PUSH – $10,000 in FY 2013) is an innovative program designed to address educational inequality and inequity by providing services to students in marginalized urban neighborhoods in Boston. Continued funding from the MLSC will be used to implement a STEM program that will expand the comprehensiveness of the educational programs and offer students additional educational and career opportunities.
  • Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts (GSEM) – Girls Building Self-eSTeEM and Event-based STEM opportunities ($30,000 in Fiscal Year 2013) provides STEM-related activities to girls who are at-risk within underserved communities through the FaB Factor program. Continued funding from the Center allows them to bring programming to more girls by expanding their program offerings into the summer months. GSEM also offers a variety of STEM-related programming that directly ties into the Girl Scout Leadership Experience to all girls within GSEM’s 178 communities.
  • MassCAN ($50,000 in Fiscal Year 2013) will use the MLSC’s grant to support a partnership of organizations collaborating to inspire and educate Massachusetts students in computing and to prepare them to lead and innovate in a future economy that will be depend on and driven by computer technology. MassCAN wants to make sure that Massachusetts plays a nation-leading role providing all its students with the opportunity to be inspired and prepared for many of the most extraordinary computer science and computer science-enabled careers of the 21st century, including careers in bioinformatics and other life sciences fields. In addition, MassCAN wants to make sure that the state actively develops the highly educated workforce necessary to sustain the nation’s leading knowledge and information-based state economy.
  • Mass Technology Leadership Council: Big Data Project (MassTLC-$50,000 in FY 2013) will use its grant to support a Big Data project for the life sciences by: (1) convening a cohort of experts at the intersection of big data and the life sciences; (2) conducting a discovery process through a series of interviews; (3) synthesizing, reporting back, and validating results via survey, and (4) exploring opportunities and interventions through a facilitated roundtable of experts.
  • Science Club for GirlsGirls with a Z program and the pilot internship program for high school girls (SCG — $50,000 in Fiscal Year 2013) will primarily utilize the Center’s grant for the enhancement of the “Girls with a Z” program with the goal of exposing students to live organisms, stereomicroscopy, developmental biology and project-based learning; and for the development of a research internship experience for high school students through state-wide research-based vacation week and summer workshops similar to those conducted at the Broad Institute.
  • Youth Creating Impact Through Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Sustainability (Youth CITIES): MedTech Tinkering ($18,950 in FY 2013) exposes young people to the mindset and principles of entrepreneurship. The MedTech Tinkering program will provide experiential learning for students in all components of STEM that is informed by MedTech and expose students to technology-related projects that will allow hands-on “tinkering.” The program will also foster career awareness by building relationships with industry professionals through mentoring, as well as encourage community well-being by directing students toward MedTech projects that improve human health and welfare.

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