BioTeach gets good grades from Mass. STEM Advisory Council

October 6, 2011

MassBioEd program recognized as way to inspire student interest & improve readiness

MassBioEd’s BioTeach program has been named as one of just six STEM education initiatives in Massachusetts endorsed by the state Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Advisory Council.

“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,” Lt. Governor Murray, Chair of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, announced at a conference last month.  “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.”

The BioTeach program adds a strong biotechnology component to the  science curriculum 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 science education. Currently, BioTeach is in 179 Massachusetts schools and has trained more than 600 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 additional schools, teachers and students to the wonders of biotechnology.”

The STEM Advisory Council endorsement recognized BioTeach as a promising program able to achieve quantitative gains in student interest and readiness in STEM. The endorsements were announced at the National Governors Association’s (NGA) Center for Best Practices conference in Boston on August 18. Officials from over a dozen states attended the conference to support and learn from Massachusetts as one of the nation’s leaders in STEM education.

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.


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