Commitment to STEM

Massachusetts STEM Week
October 21-25, 2019 | #massstemweek
Learn more about STEM week initiatives.

Building a Robust and Diverse Workforce Pipeline

Massachusetts STEM Week 2019 takes place from October 21st to 25th (inclusive of the weekend before and after) and is organized by the Executive Office of Education and the STEM Advisory Council in partnership with the state’s 9 Regional STEM Networks. It is a statewide effort to boost the interest, awareness, and ability for all learners to envision themselves in STEM education and employment opportunities, and compliment the formal instruction happening in the Commonwealth beyond STEM week.

The theme for the second annual statewide STEM Week is “See Yourself in STEM.” Women, people of color, first-generation students, low-income individuals, English language learners, and people with disabilities are underrepresented in STEM industries and make up an increasing portion of the overall workforce, but the demographics of STEM fields have remained largely the same. We need more young people to see themselves in STEM.

The MLSC is proud to be a Massachusetts STEM Week partner and serve on the Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council.

The MLSC’s investment in building a robust and diverse workforce pipeline includes:

Nearly $18 million awarded to 191 high schools and middle schools

New Bedford High School’s state-of-the-art Biotech Lab and Biotechnology Training Program, was made possible by an $110,000 MLSC grant. The new lab is furnished with the latest biotechnology apparatus, equipment, tools and supplies required of experimental protocols used by real-world scientists.

The MLSC’s STEM equipment and professional development grants have leveraged more than $1 million in matching funds from industry partners and served schools in 13 of the 14 Massachusetts counties and 24 of the 26 Gateway Cities. Fifty-eight percent of students attending eligible schools have gained access to new equipment through this funding. Twenty-eight percent of all Massachusetts public school students attend a school that has received an MLSC grant.

Nearly $550,000 to more than 80 middle schools and high schools to support teacher professional development

This funding ensures that all schools receiving STEM funding have teachers that are trained to use the equipment and have access to relevant curricula that deploys the equipment in labs and activities that support learning goals throughout the academic year.

100+ paid internships yearly and pre-internship lab training programs for high school students from underserved communities

“The High School Apprenticeship Challenge made it possible for us to place 18 students at high-quality, paid STEM internships at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Without MLSC, this simply would not have happened. MLSC made the partnership between my organization, UMass, and the students possible. With MLSC support, UMass increased their number of places over 500 percent in a year. This kind of support is what will move the needle on STEM education and preparation for high-quality STEM careers in the Commonwealth.”

– Matt Rigney, Alternative Youth Programs Director, Collaborative for Educational Services
Learn more about the High School Apprenticeship Challenge.

Grants to colleges and economically disadvantaged high schools to renovate/construct labs and purchase state-of-the-art STEM equipment


The MLSC awarded Roxbury Community College $3 million in 2015 to build additional science labs and renovate existing lab space to foster innovation and undergraduate student research. The funding has uniquely positioned the college to fill the need for a diverse, well-trained, and local life sciences workforce.

More than 4,000 internships with nearly 800 companies for college and university students

“The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center’s Internship Challenge is one of the best programs to support workforce development and early stage life and health sciences companies.  At MBI, our companies utilize the program to train students in the field with the hope of hiring them after graduation.  The win-win program provides early stage companies with needed operating capital and students with direct work experience.”

-Jon Weaver, Chief Operating Officer, Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives
Learn more about the Internship Challenge

$28 million awarded to 16 two-year/community colleges


The MLSC awarded $5.8 million in funding to Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) to enhance the life science programming at QCC, and more fully equip the college’s Life sciences labs in Southbridge and the downtown Worcester location. Additionally, MLSC funding enhanced the school’s life sciences training facilities, including furnishing and equipping specialized labs in QCC’s 30,000 square-foot QuEST Center (Quinsigamond Engineering, Science and Technology Center) located on its main campus in Worcester. These labs support biotechnology, biology and chemistry career and transfer programs.

$165 million awarded to 18 four-year colleges/universities

The MLSC’s largest capital project, a $95 million investment to build the Institute for Applied Life Sciences (IALS) at UMass Amherst was completed in Fiscal Year 2018. The interdisciplinary institute, designed to catalyze applied and translational research projects, develop alliances with industry and government partners, and participate in the training of students for industry-relevant careers, positions the campus to more effectively contribute to the regional economic development of Western Massachusetts.

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