UMass Donahue Institute STEM Initiatives
As a public service, research, and economic development arm of the University of Massachusetts President's Office, the UMass Donahue Institute provides government, business, and non-profit organizations with effective solutions in the areas of applied research, organizational development, training, technical assistance. Our staff blends a range of content and technical expertise with hands-on professional experience in areas including early childhood development, K-12 and higher education, nonprofit funding/fiscal issues, workforce development, economic analysis, and international education.
For the past 14 years, the Institute has participated in the planning and implementation of the Massachusetts STEM Summit. Today, working closely with our partners – the Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council and the Massachusetts Business Roundtable – we continue to organize, facilitate, and staff the widely popular Summit which is regarded as a national model for mobilizing and energizing efforts to grow STEM interest and success in our communities.
Across the Institute's diverse business groups, STEM is addressed in numerous projects and initiatives:
- The Applied Research & Program Evaluation group partners with state agencies, local school districts, higher education institutions, and non-profit providers to evaluate a broad range of STEM programs. These initiatives include but are not limited to the STEM Starter Academy, Advancing STEM through AP Science and Mathematics, the Massachusetts Math and Science Partnership, and a variety of National Science Foundation funded initiatives at institutions throughout the Commonwealth and New England.
- Our Economic and Public Policy Research group (EPPR) routinely focuses on STEM-related issues, particularly around workforce training, education, job opportunities, and industry sector trends. Recently, EPPR led all aspects of research, stakeholder engagement, best practices and strategy development for Knowledge Corridor sections of Massachusetts and Connecticut. The strategies developed by EPPR cover a cradle to career perspective from early education and high school/vocational programs to community college initiatives, adult basic education and workforce training for key sectors. In another recent project, for Bay Path College, EPPR conducted a mixed-methods occupational analysis to identify the most promising career pathways for women in the life sciences in Massachusetts. Previously, EPPR led the Life Sciences Talent Initiative, culminating in a study, "Growing Talent: Meeting the Evolving Needs of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Industry". Co-sponsored by the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center and the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, the study was the product of a year-long process of research and collaboration among the life sciences industry, academia and government. The report lays out recommendations to ensure the life sciences industry will have the talent it needs to grow in the Commonwealth over the next decade.
- STEM is also increasingly entering into UMDI’s international work, in which delegations from abroad are hosted and engaged in professional exchange with American peers. Through this program, a group of Brazilian STEM educators and administrators was recently hosted for a series of visits and dialogue on innovations in STEM education with counterparts at area universities.
- Our team of Early Childhood Specialists routinely works with Head Start programs throughout New England to guide staff and parents in adopting creative approaches to stimulating STEM interest in infants, toddlers, and preschool-age children. The team has recently conducted trainings on topics including the nature of science in early childhood, nature-based learning, and the Office of Head Start’s “High Five Mathematize” initiative. We also sponsor an annual Massachusetts Head Start STEM Exhibition, where Head Start educators, share the work they are doing with children and families in classrooms and home visits.
For more information, visit www.donahue.umassp.edu.
Name: Ken LeBlond, Marketing Communications Manager
Phone: (413) 545-3452