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Saturday STEM Academy

 

A planning committee is currently working to redesign the two STEM Academy programs and secure funds to re-launch the programs in 2012. 

 

What the research tells us

 

  • 7.6% retirement rate in STEM workforce beginning 2010, continuing until 2020
  • 12,000 STEM job vacancies in Massachusetts (June 2007)
  • Too few Massachusetts high school seniors choosing STEM majors: 8% engineering, 6% biological sciences, 4% computer/information sciences, 2% physical sciences, 1% math
  • 50% national drop out rate for college majors in STEM
  • Retiring STEM workforce is 82% white and 75% male
  • Young women and minority youth, now the demographic majority, must be tapped to guarantee national capacity in STEM

 

 

The Saturday STEM Academy...a regional response


Olin College of Engineering and Partnerships for a Skilled Workforce, Inc. have built a public/private partnership to develop and implement a regional program for underrepresented minority high school students. This program replicates the six-year-old MIT SEED Academy which successfully serves such students in Boston, Cambridge, and Lawrence.

The MIT SEED Academy staff is fully committed to providing guidance and assistance in this replication.



Goal


Motivate and prepare underrepresented minority high school students for academic success, and college majors and careers in STEM.



Curriculum...Engineering and Life mastery


Engineering courses emphasizing real-world applications of math and science, Life mastery courses such as time management, communication skills, study skills, and college preparation.

Strategies


Role models, hands-on activities, career information, parent involvement, and high expectations.



Program Delivery


  • Olin College of Engineering faculty and students as instructors
  • Minority STEM professionals (role models) as instructors and guest speakers
  • High school teachers as mentors for instructors

Public/Private Partnership


Olin College of Engineering, Partnerships for a Skilled Workforce, Inc, school districts, METCO, high-tech companies, foundations, and state government provide funding, paid/volunteer program staff, and board members



Evaluation


Third party, annual, longitudinal assessment to measure program impact, i.e.,

the increase in numbers of high school students choosing postsecondary majors in STEM

 


Further replication


Partnerships for a Skilled Workforce, Inc. in collaboration with MIT and Olin College of Engineering to develop a fully replicable model

 

  • Materials and processes suitable for adaptation by other Massachusetts colleges
  • Invitations to additional Massachusetts colleges to observe and replicate the program