As part of its continuing efforts to expand and enhance its STEM curriculum, the Everett Public Schools (EPS) has been awarded a significant grant through a partnership between the state and nonprofit organizations committed to developing computer science, engineering, and 21st century skills in teachers and students.
Everett received a total of $130,000 through the STEM High-Quality Career Pathway Capacity Grant Program. The funds will be used at Everett High School ($50,000) and the George Keverian and Albert N. Parlin elementary schools ($40,000 each) to fund professional and course development. Of the 144 Massachusetts school districts that applied for these grants, Everett is the only one that received full funding (44 were awarded partial funding).
“This is a genuinely great announcement for our students and our Science Department,” said Superintendent of Schools Frederick F. Foresteire. “It’s imperative that students gain more exposure to the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The demand for STEM jobs is skyrocketing, and the trend is even more striking in a state like Massachusetts, which is filled with high-tech, medical, and research companies.”
The STEM High-Quality Career Pathway Capacity Grant is overseen by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Education in conjunction with the STEM Advisory Council and the Governor’s Workforce Skills Cabinet. The STEM Advisory Council serves as the coordinating entity, bringing together participants from state agencies, the Legislature, and members of the public and private sectors involved in STEM education planning and programming.
Everett will use the grant to develop courses in design and modeling for seventh and eighth graders. Everett High teachers will offer classes in civil engineering and architecture, introduction to engineering design, and principles of engineering.
Teachers will develop the curriculum with Project Lead the Way, a national nonprofit organization providing computer science, engineering and biomedical science education for K-12 students and teachers. The Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) will serve as the professional development partner of PLTW in Massachusetts, and Everett teachers will spend time at WPI later this month and over the summer to put the grant funds into action. In addition, the Mass STEM Hub, a project of the One8 Foundation, will be working in partnership with PLTW and WPI to provide additional implementation support to schools. (The One8 foundation provided matching grant funds to expand the number of schools that benefit from the Pathway Capacity Grant Program.)
The official announcement was made at a recent School Committee meeting by Science Director Anthony Freeman and teachers Nancy Cianchetta and Ana Seiders. In addressing the Committee members, the three discussed how, in the past decade, the EPS has built itself into a formidable STEM district. Offerings now include a highly organized and structured STEAM Academy (which adds art to the STEM equation, as all effective
design requires an element of art); a STEM Club; robotics classes; opportunities for students to learn how to code and program; and participation in local and regional competitions such as the Ten80 Racing Challenge and robotics tournaments.
Everett’s success is gaining notice by leaders in STEM fields; in addition to the Pathway Capacity Grant, the EPS has received grants from BioGen and the Massachusetts Life Science Center.
Teachers a Nancy Cianchetta and Ana Seiders and Science Director Anthony Freeman discuss the details of a $130,000 grant the Everett Public Schools has received for STEM programs.
Teacher Nancy Cianchetta discussed the significant progress the Everett Public Schools has made over the past decade in expanding STEM course and extracurricular opportunities.
Ana Seiders, the nationally-recognized head of the Everett High STEM Club, talks to the members of the Everett School Committee.
Science Director Anthony Freeman talks to the School Committee about the tremendous gains being made by Everett’s science and technology students.
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