What is The Pioneer Valley STEM Network?
The Pioneer Valley Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network (PVSTEM NET) is based in the Pioneer Valley, which includes the three Western Massachusetts counties along the Connecticut River and I-91. Regional networks were established in 2004 by the Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council to enable area businesses, institutions of higher education, local school districts, regional workforce development professionals, community based organizations and various municipal or civic leaders to increase the number of area students who participate in career-related programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), while also increasing the number of qualified STEM teachers and improving educational offerings in area schools. The Network is funded through the Department of Higher Education Pipeline Fund. There are nine regional networks spanning the state, including PVSTEM NET.
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
The Pioneer Valley STEM Network Includes the Following Towns & Cities:
- East Hampton
- East Longmeadow
- New Salem
- South Hadley
- West Springfield