In 2004, following the US Department of Education’s National Summits on Mathematics and Science, Massachusetts launched the nation’s first statewide STEM Summit. Since then, the event has annually convened leaders and practitioners from the state’s education, business, and government sectors, all dedicated to promoting a STEM-literate workforce and citizenry across the Commonwealth. With stimulating plenary speakers, diverse topical interest panel sessions, and opportunities for networking, the Massachusetts STEM Summit has become an annual opportunity for sharing innovative ideas, discussing groundbreaking policies and strategies, and celebrating the tremendous ongoing work taking place at all levels of education and workforce development throughout the state.
Held for the fifth straight year at the DCU Center in Worcester in 2018, attendees took in a wide array of sessions and enjoyed a dynamic exhibit hall featuring nearly 60 displays highlighting diverse STEM projects from across the Commonwealth and exhibits of our generous sponsors.
Massachusetts STEM Summit 2018: Pipelines to Prosperity, was held on Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at the DCU Center in Worcester. The STEM movement, both nationally and in Massachusetts, often uses a “pipeline” metaphor to describe a lifelong continuum of developmental milestones. Along the pipeline, efforts focus on exposing diverse students, from pre-kindergarten and into higher education, to innovative approaches designed to nurture curiosity, motivation and achievement in STEM areas. This progression then paves the way to STEM pathways towards entry and advancement in the STEM workforce. Through panel presentations, exhibits, and networking, attendees at the 15th annual Summit shared stories and models of measurable success along the various stages of the pipeline. The Summit was again proudly hosted by the UMass Donahue Institute, Massachusetts Business Roundtable and the Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council. It was supported by generous contributions from a broad array of public and private organizations invested in the economic vitality of the state, including businesses, educational institutions, government agencies, and non-profit entities.
Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council
The Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council is led by co-chairs Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III, and Dr. Jeffrey Leiden, Chief Executive Officer of Vertex. The STEM Advisory Council serves as a vehicle for STEM advocates from the public and private sectors to inform and advance the state’s agenda relative to STEM education and the connection to the workforce.
The STEM Advisory Council commenced its work in 2010, focused on expanding the understanding of the importance of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. In 2015, the STEM Advisory Council refined its work and, under the leadership of the Baker-Polito Administration, established the STEM Pipeline Fund in Section 2MMM of Chapter 29 of Massachusetts General Laws to enable the STEM Advisory Council to leverage grant funds to support its priorities.
The Council has named expanding access to work-based learning opportunities in STEM fields through the STEM@Work initiative; developing strong models of STEM Early College Career Pathways; and broadening access to computer science and engineering programs as key priority areas. In addition, the STEM Advisory Council outlined key principles for its work, including focusing on expanding opportunities for communities with high concentrations of students living in low-income areas, students that are historically underrepresented in STEM fields, and ensuring high-quality instruction in every corner of the Commonwealth. The STEM Advisory Council seeks to build a deeper, more diverse human capital pipeline to fill the growing demand for talent by MA employers, while creating new opportunities for young people and adults to pursue rewarding and productive careers requiring STEM expertise.
Working with educators, legislators, and business and community leaders, the Council seeks to promote the importance of these essential disciplines while also incentivizing the development and spread of best practices that enhance students’ successful preparation for entry into the 21st Century workforce.
For more information visit: www.mass.edu/stem.