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The Massachusetts Academy of Sciences stands committed to ensuring that students gain the skills they need to excel in the highly-paid, highly-rewarding fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). One of the Academy’s most powerful approaches to achieving this goal is our Engage in STEM (E-STEM) program, which was created to encourage and support middle and high school students in authentic scientific inquiry in a mentored after-school setting. E-STEM is designed to increase students’ interest in STEM and to expose them to the breadth of STEM career opportunities, while they learn about the value of STEM in society.
Last year, over 60 students participated in E-STEM, visited research laboratories at UMass Amherst, and produced competitive science fair projects that were entered into the Regional Science Fair at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the Massachusetts Middle School State Science & Engineering Fair at Worcester Technical High School. One of our E-STEM students, Samantha Carr, placed third in the entire state!
Here’s what some E-STEM students and mentors had to say about their experience with the program:
“Football was my life – until I sustained a serious concussion and became unable to play. I needed something to make me feel good again. I have a passion for science, so I chose to sign up to serve as a mentor for Engage in STEM, and mentoring has changed my life! I love helping younger students understand science and think about themselves as scientists one day.” ~Steven Ho, Everett Public Schools Mentor
“My mentor helped guide me through my project, and I even made it to the state science fair. It was hard work but I’m really glad I had my mentor and was able to have the experience I did. I’ve become even more interested in science – I didn’t think that was possible!” ~8th Grade Student Samantha Carr, Quaboag Regional School District
This year, E-STEM has expanded into five public schools in Holyoke, Warren, East Brookfield, and East Boston. However, we believe that every student in the state should have the opportunity to experience the joys and challenges of engaging in scientific exploration! To achieve this ambitious goal, we need your help.
The MAS is a non-profit organization that relies on donations from our members and colleagues to deliver this one-of-a-kind mentoring program to middle and high school students. We ask for your help in bringing the E-STEM program to students across the Commonwealth. Your contribution will provide students with essential research supplies, teachers with dynamic professional development opportunities, and will permit us to design a one-of-a-kind website that will inspire and support the creative spirit in our students!
What began as a great idea is now emerging as a powerful, committed initiative ready to change the way Massachusetts’ students think about science. Please, consider helping us achieve this goal by making a tax-deductible, online donation to the Massachusetts Academy of Sciences! You can do so by clicking here.
The MAS is really focused on K-12 education, and does a lot of good work. If you wish to join, go here (I’m a member, so you’ll join the finest people, myself excluded).