State Officials Back Newton STEM Effort

NewtonSTEM (science, technology, engineering and math), a new organization created by Newton parents to promote interest and opportunities around STEM careers for Newton students, held a kickoff event at the Newton Senior Center on March 7th. State Representative Ruth Balser introduced STEM advocate Lt. Governor Tim Murray, who spoke on the state government’s growing emphasis on STEM promotion. This effort is about helping our kids since 21st century jobs will be increasingly STEM-related, and it’s about helping our economy and our global competitiveness too.

I was especially interested in the notion of “leveraging industry investments” (see the quote from the governor’s website below). We have so many STEM companies in the immediate area and their direct cooperation with NPS can be a huge boon. For example, Newton parent Robin Saitz and her Parametric Technology Corporation provided advocacy and seed money to help start Newton’s FIRST Robotics program, now applauded as a great Newton success story.

The STEM Advisory Council will offer “…planning grants to implement the plan as a part of the new partnership between the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center), and Innovate+Educate. Over the next year, the NGA Center and Innovate+Educate will work closely with the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council and state agency staff to strengthen STEM education through the sharing of best practices and through leveraging industry investments, which will highlight Massachusetts as a leader in strengthening STEM education.”