Massachusetts STEM Week 2020
Massachusetts STEM Week 2020 takes place from October 19 – 23 (inclusive of the weekend before and after), and is organized by the Executive Office of Education and the STEM Advisory Council in partnership with the state’s 9 Regional STEM Networks. It is a statewide effort to boost the interest, awareness and ability for all learners to envision themselves in STEM education and employment opportunities, and compliment the formal instruction happening in the Commonwealth beyond STEM week.
The theme for the third annual statewide STEM Week is “See Yourself in STEM,” with a particular focus on the power of mentoring. Women, people of color, first-generation students, low-income individuals, English language learners, and people with disabilities are underrepresented in STEM industries and make up an increasing portion of the overall workforce, but the demographics of STEM fields have remained largely the same. We need more young people to see themselves in STEM.
RSN Statement on Racial Equity, Justice, and Antiracist Action
Massachusetts Regional STEM Networks Commitment to Racial Equity and Statement of Solidarity
The Massachusetts Regional STEM Network Managers stand in solidarity with Black communities. We support Black Lives Matter. We are outraged about the murders of more Black persons by police officers across the country and the use of violence and force by police against protestors. We have long known that structural racism exists in the USA. What we are witnessing now are the predictable consequences of a system built on that structure. We have done far too little to combat it.
Institutional racism is present in the education system as well. As STEM representatives, we have promoted “See Yourself in STEM” acknowledging that there are pervasive equity gaps at every level of our education system; gaps that are particularly wide in STEM. We acknowledge that STEM is not accessible to all and that there are many systemic barriers. We commit to naming the systemic racism that exists in STEM, exploring our role as allies in the current system, and engaging our networks to transform STEM education into a more inclusive, anti-racist, and asset-based community. We work in a system where our Black students can often name more Black people murdered by police: Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Philando Castile, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd (to name a few), than they can name teachers and staff that look like them in their schools. We have a lot of work to do to remove systemic barriers and achieve better educational outcomes for our Black students. We commit to listening to our Black communities, educators, and partners and to making long overdue changes towards more just and equitable outcomes.
“In a racist society it is not enough to be non-racist,
we must be anti-racist .” - Angela Y. Davis
We all have a responsibility to advocate for a just society. We believe in community and how inaction passively upholds a system of oppression. We must rethink our role as STEM Network leaders and join together for collective impact to dismantle institutional racism across the Commonwealth. We commit to reaching out to listen and learn from our communities about the ways we can make this change happen.
The Massachusetts Regional STEM Networks
Engage your students in the "Survivor Island STEM Week Challenge" with the Wade Institute for Science Education, National Marine Life Center, and Lloyd Center for the Environment during the 2020 MA STEM Week sponsored by the MA STEM Advisory Council and Executive Office of Education. What’s the challenge?
"Your class has been stranded on a deserted island and the only source of freshwater is quite a distance from your encampment. You must find a way to move water to the encampment and then filter it to make it safe to drink.”
There’s a new player in the local university research game.
"For a liberal arts school like Westfield State University to get a grant of this magnitude is almost unheard-of,'' biology professor Kristen Porter said after learning she’d been awarded a $750,000 state grant to research to paths to personalized medicine in women’s health.