Massachusetts’ annual STEM week to run from Oct. 19 to 23 with virtual and in-person events

Massachusetts officials announced Wednesday that the state’s annual STEM week is running from Oct. 19 to 23 with a mix of virtual and in-person events.

STEM week will feature lessons, speaker panels and design challenges that have adapted for new school and work environments amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to the administration of Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito.

“This year made it abundantly clear how important STEM professions are to all our lives, and we hope that more young people will explore the opportunities that exist in STEM fields and pursue those careers that benefit us all,” Baker said.

STEM week is a collaborative effort between the Executive Office of Education; the STEM Advisory Council, which works to generate interest and support from the business community for STEM Week activities and is co-chaired by Polito, Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III and Vertex Pharmaceuticals Executive Chairman Jeffrey Leiden; and the Commonwealth’s nine Regional STEM Networks, which plan and coordinate activities with local school communities, community leaders and business partners.

“Across our Commonwealth, nurses and doctors are saving lives, scientists are working furiously to develop a vaccine, and advanced manufacturers quickly shifted gears to produce personal protective equipment,” said Polito. “Battling COVID-19 highlighted how crucial the need is for young people to study science, technology, engineering and math, and our administration remains committed to paving pathways to STEM careers and education for students in and out of the classroom.”

Teachers and employers are being encouraged to develop new, creative ways to host STEM week events, highlighting opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math.

“Getting kids hooked on science is all about creating fun, hands-on experiences where they can explore these topics in the real world alongside scientists and mentors,” said Leiden. “Those experiences might look different during a pandemic, but as leaders and educators, we have an opportunity to innovate in how we deliver them to students.

“At Vertex, we created an all-virtual summer internship experience for our Boston Public School partners, and we’ll continue to work with the community to ensure students – particularly women and those who are underrepresented in STEM – have the opportunities they need to succeed,” Leiden continued.

This year, the STEM Advisory Council is coordinating with programs including Kids In Tech: Cybersecurity – Keeping Our Networks Secure Challenge; Museum of Science – Supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals; Gale Force Education – Power Grid Explorations; FitMoney – STEM Business Plan Challenge; MIND Research Institute in partnership with STMath – Math Maker Project – Play, Create, Share; WPI STEM Education Center – I Am STEM, STEM I Am!; and Wade Institute for Science Ed – National Marine Life Center – Survivor Island Challenge.

More information is available online.

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