Inspiring Future Problem Solvers: Share your expertise with students through Mass STEM Hub
Only 20% of college-bound high school students are ready for courses required for STEM majors1 ,and while STEM jobs command higher salaries than their non-STEM counterparts, 2.4 million STEM jobs went unfilled in 20182 . Employers are looking for employees with 21st century skills in critical thinking, complex problem solving, adaptive learning, and collaboration — plus specific aptitude in the STEM disciplines. To prepare students to tackle the challenges of tomorrow and engage them in STEM learning, what we need in schools is an applied learning environment where students learn rigorous content and then apply it to solve real world problems.
Mass STEM Hub
Mass STEM Hub, a program of the One8 Foundation, provides schools with access to and support for applied learning and STEM education that builds knowledge and skills students need to succeed in a rapidly changing, high-tech world. We support best in-class STEM and applied learning programs and develop resources needed for high quality implementation at scale, such as professional development, student opportunities, and authentic industry engagement. Critical to success is the involvement of local industry professionals that can help take classroom learning to the next level – which is why we’ve been thrilled to collaborate with ACEC/MA to connect students with volunteers from member organizations.
As Heather Hamilton of the BSC Group and member of the ACEC/MA STEM Committee shared, “STEM is about two things for me: ensuring we have a pipeline of talent for the demands of tomorrow and equalizing the opportunities for under-represented groups. Mass STEM Hub does a dynamic job of ensuring every child in the Commonwealth has access to materials and opportunities to learn and compete. The competitions were incredibly well organized, and it was incredibly inspiring to talk to the kids directly to learn from them what they liked, what was challenging, and what this now means for them.”
STEM Week Challenge
Connecting students and teachers with industry professionals is key to the success of Mass STEM Hub’s mission, as these interactions provide students with meaningful feedback that validates and motivates their work in the classroom. These connections take place through student showcases, virtual competitions, teacher industry sessions, and more.
The fall, in support of the State’s second annual Mass STEM Week, Mass STEM Hub partnered with Project Lead The Way, a premier national K-12 STEM curriculum provider, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, TD Garden, and Dell Technologies to host the STEM Week Challenge.
An estimated 60,000 students and 1,600 teachers from over 400 schools across the Commonwealth participated in the STEM Week Challenge, taking on zero waste problems. The littlest engineers in grades K-2 tackled food waste, developing novel solutions to preserve an apple, while those in grades 3-5 tackled energy waste, learning about renewable energy and designing a solar-powered device. Middle school students took on the challenge of plastic waste, learning about the impact of the emerging contaminants of microplastics on the environment and prototyping an “extractinator” to remove plastic from water. High school students learned about the challenges of electronic waste and benefits of a circular economy, and developed solutions to recycle unused electronics in their community.
The STEM Week Challenge culminated with students showcasing their projects in person and virtually to and receiving authentic feedback from over 300 STEM professionals from more than 90 organizations, including ACEC/MA members BSC Group, Tighe & Bond, and BSCES.
"I got to stand next to a CEO and he gave me his card! He said if you work on this project and improve on it, then give me a call and we can talk.” – Middle school student
“It was a little intimidating to present to people who were devoting their life to this, but I think it was exciting because they knew what they were talking about and they were going to be honest with us.”- High School student participant
“It was very rewarding to see kids of all ages tackle some of the most challenging problems of current day that even adults struggle with.” – Industry volunteer judge
Watch these videos to see more from the STEM Week Challenge.
By sharing your experience with students, you can inspire the next generation of problem solvers and STEM professionals. ACEC/MA members can share their expertise with students across MA to make an impact:
Virtual judge: As a virtual judge, connect with students and teacher without leaving your desk! Flexibly dedicate 2-3 hours over a one-week period to review and provide valuable feedback on student projects submitted online. Upcoming opportunities:
In-person showcase judge: In-person judges engage with students at showcase and workshop events, discussing their STEM projects, providing feedback and sharing their expertise. Upcoming opportunities:
See videos and hear from last year’s volunteers, students, and teachers here.
Learn more and sign up to volunteer! mass-stemhub.org/volunteer
For organizations looking for other ways to get involved, we’re happy to partner together to develop an experience that fits your organization while inspiring future STEM professionals. Reach out to Andreina at email@example.com.
ACEC/MA members only pay the ACEC/MA member rate for registration. Check the ACEC/MA Member Directory to see if your firm is an ACEC/MA member. If your firm is an ACEC/MA member, you are a member.
Important: You must use the account, including the username and password, of the individual you wish to register.
IMPORTANT: Altering your name or contact information during registration will overwrite your record in our membership database. Please do not share your login information with anyone else.
If you have additional questions regarding registration, contact us at 617/227-5551 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Registration is processed through the ACEC/MA associated website, www.engineers.org. ACEC/MA is supported by the staff of The Engineering Center Education Trust.