STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. At STEM-focused schools, students take an interdisciplinary curriculum with special attention paid to these four areas.
Since 2008, the Obama administration has invested heavily in STEM high school programs across the country, with the goal of raising students’ proficiency in all STEM fields.
In 2009, Gov. Deval Patrick created the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council to act as the liaison between STEM proponents in the public and private sectors and the Governor’s Office. The Advisory Council has sought to complete five goals since 2013.
Increase student interest in STEM areas
Increase student achievement in all STEM areas
Increase the number of STEM teachers
Increase the number of students pursuing higher education in STEM areas
Ensure that a “STEM talent pipeline” is created (the state will grow workforce need for STEM jobs as students graduate with STEM-related degrees and certificates)
In line with federal recommendations, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has encouraged districts to develop Early College High Schools, high schools that allow students to obtain college credit while in high school, to focus on STEM areas.
These high schools are intended to focus on low-income, minority, and first-generation college students.
Already six districts have received $120,000 grants from Race to the Top to implement STEM focused Early College High Schools.