Accelerating STEM Learning and Careers across Massachusetts - from Barstable to the Berkshires
After several years of localized research pilots, the Reynolds Center has accelerated its scaling strategy with a target of reaching 17 million underserved students by 2025. Informed by directives from the U.S. Department of Education, the Reynolds Center has designed and implemented a statewide Education Innovation Cluster model starting in our own backyard - Massachusetts.
The MaSTEM Initiative formed as partnership with The Reynolds Center, the United Way, Citizen Schools, and Boston After School & Beyond through a shared goal of bringing innovative STEM resources and professional development to school districts across the state. Thanks to funding from Cisco Foundation and Morgridge Family Foundation, the program blossomed. Launched in 2017, The MaSTEM initiative brought Fab@School digital design and fabrication software, hardware, and PD to over 70 pilots sites across the state from Cape Cod to the Berkshires. With support from MA DOE, we were also able to offer PD credits to all participating educators who satisfied a basic set of learning objectives.
In June 2018, MaSTEM students in grades 1-5 in three school districts in Massachusetts participated in PEAR Institute Common Instrument Suite (CIS). This end of year survey is done through the PEAR Institute: Partnerships in Education and Resilience at Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital, and measures students’ interest and engagement towards Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
During the school year, teachers shared positive stories from the classroom about student engagement and innovative creations. The PEAR results provide statistics to the stories.
“Overall, of the students that completed the CIS at Fab Schools in Spring/Summer 2018, 96.9% of students reported positive gains in STEM Interest and 82.1% in STEM Identity as a result of participating in their programming. Additionally, 84.6% of students reported positive gains in Relationships with Adults, 61.5% in Relationships with Peers, 87.2% in Perseverance, and 87.2% in Critical Thinking,” according to the report.