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June 26, 2022
Six Mass. Nonprofits Get $251K for Student STEM Opportunities

April 30, 2022 — Six Massachusetts nonprofit organization recently received $251,669 in state funds to provide opportunities for students in STEM—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—to participate in STEM Week in October.

“We are proud to offer students a platform that delivers compelling learning experiences, and one that may encourage students to pursue careers in STEM,” noted Gov. Charlie Baker.

STEM Week is a collaborative effort between the Executive Office of Education, the STEM Advisory Council, and the state’s nine Regional STEM Networks, which plan and coordinate activities with local schools, community leaders and business partners.

The following organizations received grants to develop STEM Design Challenges for students during this year’s STEM Week:

  • Kids in Tech: $48,700 for “Everyday Engineering: Using the Ordinary to Create the Extraordinary,” will deepen 5 – 8 grade students’ understanding of the different branches of engineering. The challenge will cover the five pillars of engineering and include a series of webinars to simulate the activities. Kids in Tech plans to reach 8,500 students with this design challenge.

  • Museum of Science, Boston: $49,578 to launch a biotechnology challenge for students in grades 6-8 to raise awareness about the use of plastics. Students will be challenged to engineer biodegradable plastic and think about the benefits of making plastic more environmentally friendly. The challenge will reach 1,500 students.

  • PBLWorks: $41,830 to partner with Mass STEM Hub, a project of the One8 Foundation, students in grades 6-12 will use labor market data and other research to explore and present on STEM Careers through the lens of “How can we prepare and inspire people in Massachusetts to pursue STEM careers that have the greatest potential for impact?” Students will collaborate with and seek feedback from local employers and peers on their presentations to build connections as they begin college and career planning. PBLWorks aims to reach 100+ schools with this applied learning experience.

  • The STEM Center at Worcester Polytechnic Institute: $41,596 to expand the “I Am STEM” library to include four lessons for each grade level, pre-K – 5, as well as create four additional lessons for Grade 6. This will increase the total lessons in the library from 14 to 28 over the course of two years. The STEM Center anticipates reaching 5,000 students.

  • United Way and Boston PIC: $30,000 to focus on social justice for civics by using STEM as the lever for change. Approximately 150 Boston Public School teachers and their classes will participate in this STEM Week design challenge.

  • The Wade Institute: $39,965 for “Extreme Zoom Makeover: A STEM Approach to Habitat Design,” which will engage students in grades 5-8 in a unique experience that integrates science and engineering concepts in a series of inquiry-based investigations that lead up to a student-driven challenge. Partnering with the Lloyd Center for Environment and Buttonwood Park Zoo, this design challenge aims to reach 100 classrooms.
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