I'm attending the Masschusetts STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) Summit today at Gillette Stadium (who knew it was a conference venue?). I'm sitting in the introductory session where the Governor's STEM Advisory Council Executive Director David Cedrone is providing an overview of the STEM initiative here in the state. David is a long-standing colleague--we first worked together when he was doing fabulous things with networking at Digital Equipment Corporation where I was an external consultant.
Here are some (incomplete) notes from the introductory session:
9th Annual STEM Summit in State--1100 people registered with 250 on waiting list.
Student interest in STEM in MA lags nation – 37% vs 43% nationwide
@Scale Project – Phase 1 – lots of good initiatives; not scaled, not replicated; identified first set of 7 projects endorsed by Advisory Council; secured additional funding for them; got 3:1 private:public match. Focused on student interest and student readiness, 2 of top 5 goals
Funding for 2012 increased to $1.5m; hope to fund complete portfolio across pre-K-12 of 20 projects; going for NSF funding for research on “best practices”
Opportunity through pre-K providers to start simple interest in STEM for kids and reach parents who bring their kids to school every day; “WOW” public awareness campaign also begun ($130K for this year) featuring “Wowsters” in MA who do exciting STEM things in state; posters available here at Summit.Focus in 2012 on Student Interest/Readiness; Public Awareness; Workforce Alignment: Employer Awareness & Readiness