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Lt. Gov. Murray, President Wilson highlight importance of STEM education, careers

STURBRIDGE - Delivering the keynote address at the University's sixth annual STEM Summit, Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray today said that encouraging more young people to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics and to pursue STEM careers is vital to the state's economic future.

"It is imperative for the Commonwealth to continue to promote STEM education and courses of study for our young people. By coming together for this summit and by improving coordination within the state, we will develop increased opportunities for students of all ages and also help us retain and attract businesses that need a highly skilled workforce," said Lt. Gov. Murray, who serves as chair of the recently created Governor's STEM Advisory Council.

Lt. Gov. Murray called for a heightened STEM focus as more than 500 attendees representing schools, colleges, employers, non-profit organizations, government agencies and other interested stakeholders gathered for STEM Summit VI: Ensuring the Pipeline.

The University of Massachusetts has a strong commitment to furthering STEM education and created the STEM Summit program as part of its overall effort to advance the Commonwealth's STEM Pipeline goals:

  • to dramatically increase student interest in and preparation for careers in STEM
  • to increase the number of highly-qualified teachers in STEM and provide them with timely professional development programs and support
  • to increase the number of STEM programs in schools in Massachusetts.

Speaking at STEM Summit VI, UMass President Jack M. Wilson cited the University's longstanding commitment to furthering STEM education at all levels and noted, "All of us understand that today's students must possess high-level science, technology, engineering and math skills if they are to succeed in the global 21st century."

President Wilson also noted that the Patrick-Murray administration last week sent an important signal by establishing the Governor's Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Advisory Council. The new council will serve as a central advisory body, bringing together public- and private-sector stakeholders involved with STEM planning and programming, with the goal of increasing student interest in and preparation for careers in STEM.

President Wilson said: "I would like to recognize the Patrick-Murray Administration for making STEM an essential component of the state's education agenda. The University of Massachusetts is very glad to be part of this important initiative. And, we are especially pleased to welcome Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray, who is chairing the Governor's STEM Advisory Council."

STEM Summit VI, organized by the STEM Summit Planning Committee and the UMass Donahue Institute, also featured a follow-up meeting to the STEM Business Leaders Breakfast that was sponsored by the Massachusetts Business Roundtable.  Titled Tapping Massachusetts Potential Step II:  Advancing the STEM Movement Through A Leadership-Employer Alliance, the meeting built on the discussion begun in June and focused on the critical role STEM education plays in the future of the Massachusetts economy.

In addition, Joyce Plotkin, President Emerita, Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council, Inc., announced the introduction of a new career curriculum, Opening Minds to Math and Science: A Middle School Career Awareness Program. 

More information on STEM Summit VI can be found at  http://www.donahue.umassp.edu/stem/  and by clicking on the links under STEM Summit VI. 

Contact: Robert P. Connolly, 774-455-7188
 

10/20/09

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Robert P. Connolly
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