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A Survey of STEM Education in Massachusetts: a State, Regional and Local Perspective

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By 2018 Massachusetts will need to fill some 300,000 STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) jobs. To help meet this demand, the state created the STEM Pipeline Fund to promote and grow STEM studies by students, teachers and schools. Our speakers, Keith Connors Senior Program Manager of the STEM Pipeline Fund at the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, Marjorie Dennis, Project Manager at the Office of School Partnerships, Graduate School of Education at UMass Lowell, and Scott Morrison, Director of Curriculum & Instructional Technology, Manchester Essex Regional School District will discuss current state, regional and local educational initiatives that support the goals of the state STEM plan. North Shore Technology Council breakfast, 7:00 AM networking and continental breakfast; 7:45 AM program begins. Sponsored by Hamilton Brook Smith Reynolds.


 


STEM Background:


Since 2003, the MA Department of Higher Education has administered the STEM Pipeline Fund, established by the legislature under Economic Stimulus legislation, for the following purposes:



  • to increase the number of Massachusetts students who participate in programs that support careers in fields related to STEM;

  • to increase the number of qualified STEM teachers; and

  • to improve the STEM educational offerings available in public and private schools.


In its first financial disbursement, the STEM Pipeline Fund supported the establishment of seven regional networks, comprised of public and private PreK-12 schools and districts, higher education institutions, business and industry, and non-profit organizations, to promote the above stated objectives. The PreK-16 Regional STEM Networks successfully advance the objectives, and the overall statewide STEM agenda, by coordinating and promoting collaborations of STEM programs, projects, and partners across the Commonwealth.  One measure of the Network’s success is the public desire of other states to copy the Massachusetts model. 


 


In October of 2009, Governor Patrick signed an executive order creating the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council.  This 40 member body, chaired by the Lt. Governor, provides guidance and a vision on STEM Pipeline Fund expenditures through its drafting of a state STEM Plan.  The State STEM Plan outlines six quantitative goals as follows:


 



  1. Increase student interest in STEM

  2. Increase STEM achievement among PreK-12 students

  3. Increase the percentage of students who demonstrate readiness for college-level study in STEM fields.

  4. Increase the number of students who graduate from a post-secondary institution with a degree in a STEM field.

  5. Increase the number/percentage of STEM classes led by effective educators, from PreK-16

  6. Align STEM education programs with the workforce needs of key economic sectors


 


 


About our SpeakerS:


Keith Connors is a Senior Program Manager of the STEM Pipeline Fund at the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. Keith works with key stakeholders to implement a multi-year funding program and strategy for the STEM Pipeline Fund.  Keith’s primary role is to manage the seven regional PreK-16 STEM Networks in aligning their activities to the execution of the state STEM Goals.  He also works closely with the UMass Donahue Institute on the SAT Data Project and with the Department of Early Education and Care on the Afterschool STEM Pilot Initiative.   Keith holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts, where he received both the Outstanding Student and Department Chair Award. 


Marjorie Dennis is a Project Manager and Grant Writer at the Office of School Partnerships, Graduate School of Education at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Marjorie manages grant funded projects from national, state and local funding sources as she is the project manager for the Massachusetts State Science and Engineering Middle School Region IV Fair, the Northeast STEM Network and the K-12 outreach coordinator for the NSF “Center for High Rate Nanomanufacturing” at UMass Lowell. She has a BA from SUNY Albany and an MBA from Babson College.


 


Scott Morrison is Director of Curriculum & Instructional Technology, Manchester Essex Regional School District. He is responsible for leading the curriculum, instructional, assessment and technology programs within the school system. As a former teacher, assistant principal, and principal, Scott has spent close to 20 years in the field of education and possesses an uncompromising dedication and commitment to helping enrich the lives of students. That dedication extends to helping prepare the next generation of educators, as Scott serves as an Adjunct Professor in the School of Education at Salem State University. Scott holds a B.S. in elementary education, an M.Ed in Educational Leadership and is currently enrolled in a doctoral program in organizational change at Northeastern University.


 


 


About the North Shore Technology Council


The North Shore Technology Council (NSTC) is a non-profit, volunteer-led organization with a mission to be the leading collaborative for fostering technology businesses in Massachusetts' north-of-Boston region.  The council's mission is to build a strong ecosystem for the success of technology businesses North of Boston by facilitating collaboration, networking, professional growth and economic development in a collegial fashion.  The NSTC welcomes the participation of technology businesses, senior executive and employees of technology businesses, entrepreneurs, companies that support technology businesses, academic and governmental units and non profits.  The council is on the Web at www.nstc.org. Its office is at the Cummings Center, in Beverly, Massachusetts. For more information call, 978-335-5234.

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