BioTeach endorsed by Mass. STEM Advisory Council
MassBioEd program recognized as way to improve student interest & readiness
CAMBRIDGE – Thursday, August 18, 2011 – Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray today named MassBioEd’s BioTeach program one of just six science education programs endorsed by the state Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Advisory Council.
The endorsement recognizes BioTeach as a promising program to achieve quantitative gains in student interest and readiness in STEM. These goals are defined in the STEM plan and encourage students to pursue STEM post-secondary majors and careers. The endorsements were announced at this morning’s National Governors Association’s (NGA) Center for Best Practices conference in Boston. Officials from over a dozen states attended to support Massachusetts as one of the nation’s leaders in STEM education.
“As we encourage more students to pursue careers in STEM fields, it is imperative that we create lasting partnerships that will provide students with the right tools and resources to gain an appreciation and interest in STEM education,” said Lt. Governor Murray, Chair of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. “These selected STEM initiatives will build a pipeline for success between elementary and secondary education to post-secondary education and careers in Massachusetts’ growing innovation economy for students in all regions of the Commonwealth.”
MassBioEd’s BioTeach program aims to add a strong biotechnology program to the Commonwealth’s science curricula in public schools. Through hands-on learning, job shadow opportunities and lab experiences, students gain interest in the growing field of biotechnology. Since 2005, MassBioEd has been providing local schools with high-tech equipment and professional development programs for teachers to improve education. Currently, BioTeach is in 179 Massachusetts schools and has trained more than 500 science teachers.
“We are very pleased to be recognized by the State STEM Council for the work we have accomplished through our BioTeach program,” said Lance Hartford, Executive Director of MassBioEd. “With this endorsement we hope to identify additional funding partners with the resources necessary to introduce schools, teachers and students to the wonders of biotechnology.”
As chair of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, Lt. Governor Murray engaged STEM stakeholders from across the state to identify potential initiatives that will increase the number of students who are both prepared and interested in STEM. The STEM Operations Board, a subcommittee of the Governor’ STEM Advisory Council, reviewed applications and selected six projects known as @Scale Endorsements. The other programs are: Advanced Robotics Initiative at Quinsigamond Community College; Massasoit Community College’s Science Transfer Initiative; DIGITS Project; WPI’s Project Lead the Way; and Mass Math and Science Initiative – Mass Insight.
The Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation (MassBioEd), founded in 2001, is a nonprofit charitable organization committed to supporting science and biotechnology education in Massachusetts through school programs, workforce training, and lifelong learning. Serving as a link between education, industry, and government, MassBioEd is working to ensure Massachusetts’ biotechnology sector has an appropriately trained workforce to meet the growing employment needs. MassBioEd’s BioTeach program provides professional development to over 500 teachers in their biotechnology curricula and provides grants and lab equipment to 179 schools across the Commonwealth. In addition, MassBioEd’s BioTech Learning Center offers professional development courses for employees in the biotech sector to advance their professional skills.