MLSC STEM Equipment and Professional Development grants enables the purchase of equipment and supplies for high schools and middle schools in the Commonwealth in order to train students in life sciences technology and research. The program also offers funding for teacher professional development to ensure that all recipient schools have teachers 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.
The MLSC recently piloted a new district-centric approach to awarding STEM funding that supports comprehensive and strategic plans for adequately supporting STEM education across multiple schools, with consideration of vertical alignment and state standards. By awarding districts, rather than individual schools, the MLSC can provide professional development opportunities that serve teachers from multiple schools and increase engagement at the district-level to allow for greater understanding of community-wide resource needs and inequities to address skills gaps.
Impact on the Ecosystem
The MLSC has invested more than $17.8 million in equipment and professional development funding in nearly 200 high schools, middle schools, and organizations throughout Massachusetts, and has leveraged more than $1 million in cash and in-kind matching funds from industry partners. More than 80 schools also received funding to support teacher professional development related to curriculum implementation and equipment training.
MLSC funding has served schools in 13 of the 14 Massachusetts counties and 25 of the 26 Gateway Cities. Moreover, more than half of students attending eligible schools have gained access to new equipment and nearly 30 percent of all Massachusetts public school students attend a school that has received an MLSC grant.